"Historical" in " Women at Dickinson College" - by Josephine Brunyate Meredith

circa 1935

The introductory part of her report is entitled "Historical." In it she briefly accounts for the reasons women had not been admitted into Dickinson College up until 1884 and outlines the various developments that arose from that year on. Developments addressed include: additions to faculty and trends in enrollment.

Trustees deemed admission of women prior to 1884 inadvisable due to the saturation of recitation rooms, but co-education for Dickinson had been discussed for some time before housing conditions allowed women to
be admitted.

There were several noticeable changes in numbers of women students at Dickinson: (1) during the war period, the number of men at the college decreased, making admission of women students easier; (2) when the Dean of Women was appointed, the number of women students escalated to 165; and (3) between 1929-1931, the lowest numbers of women students since 1918 was reached.


Meredith describes Dickinson College as a college of men where women were "generously tolerated." She assures that women have been socially accepted from the start, and never ignored, or made to feel uncomfortable when in class. Although there were a few professors who objected to women, most of the faculty supported them.


Time-line addressed within the "Historical"

  • 1884 - women are admitted into Dickinson College
  • 1884-1902 - a few women entered in each Freshmen Class
  • 1890's - dormitory capable of  housing 20 women is acquired
  • 1900-1914 - more rooms are added
  • 1916 [actually 1913]- women begin living in Metzger Hall (formerly Metzger Institute)
  • 1919 - Dean of Women is appointed
  • 1926 - agitation against co-education springs and attempts to limit quota of women admitted

Faculty Additions:

  • 2 French Teachers
  • Dean of Women
  • Physical Training Teacher
  • Librarian and
  • Assistant Librarian
Location of Document in Archives
Vault AAUW papers