In her memoir recounting her experiences as an early female student at Dickinson College, Low discusses the various intricacies involved with late nineteenth-century student cultures. Low explained that a fellow female student told her to "be very careful in making friends, as once in a set it was extremely difficult if not impossible to change, as both the college and town were made up of cliques." Moreover, Low recalls being told about the proper etiquette after one has been serenaded.
In her memoir recounting her experiences as an early female student at Dickinson College, Low recalls a fellow "co-ed" sophomore who "was more like a Dean than just another student." Though Low never mentions the woman's name, she explains that "She took her work seriously and co-education as her personal responsibility." Moreover, at an early party hosted by the sophomore "co-ed" she urged her fellow female students to sign a pledge proclaiming that "'We are set apart, destined for careers, we were superior and should not allow any entangling alliances to interfere with our life work." Unf
In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low recalled a party for "co-eds." Hosted by a female student Low referred to as the unofficial "Dean" of female students, the party was an opportunity for early female students at Dickinson to develop a community. According to Low, "even at the party, her [the hostess] theme song was coeducation." Low explains that the party "was fun, and the only really good time some of those girls had during their entire college course."
During her first few weeks at Dickinson College, Elizabeth Low attended her first football game.Â Accompanied by a male sophomore from Dickinson College, Low watched Dickinson play against Swarthmore. A few minutes into the game, their was an accident. The roomate of Low's escort was dead. He had hit his head while playing football. Low wrote that "That was the first football game I ever attended and by far the most tragic. There were many firsts in my life at Dickinson."
During her first week at Dickinson College, Elizabeth A. Low described the ways in which Carlisle was different from the rural area from which she came. While walking with a professor down the streets of Carlisle, the professor exclaimed, "Aren't you accustomed to walking on pavements?" Low was terrified by his question. She explained, "I felt so conspicuous and embarrased that I did not want callers. Perhaps this sounds exaggerated.
Upon her arrival at Dickinson College in 1886, Elizabeth Low was shocked to find that no housing arrangements had been made for female students. Unlike their male counterparts, early female Dickinsonians were not permitted to live in dorms on campus. Moreover, the school had not found housing in town for the young women.
During the summer of 1886, Elizabeth A. Low's family decided to send her to Dickinson College. Low wrote, "The visit of Dr. MacCauley [sic] to my home in the summer of 1886 may have influenced my father to send me to Dickinson. I was away at the time and did not meet him." Low pursued an education at Dickinson College, graduating in 1891.
In her 1951 memoir, Elizabeth A. Low recounts her time at Dickinson College as an early "co-ed." Low's memoir traces her career as a student in the preparatory school through to her latter years as a college student. Her story not only highlights Dickinson campus culture in the late nineteenth-century, but it also discusses what it was like to be an early female student at Dickinson College. Due to the large amount of information included in the piece, the document has been broken up into several posts with several themes including:
On June 26th, 1883, President McCauley presented his report on the 1883 school year, announcing the faculty desicion to admit women to Dickinson College. He explained that it was, "Resolved that the faculty recommend to the Board of Trustees that ladies be admitted to the classes of the College upon the same conditions as gentlemen." The following year, women were admitted to the sophomore and freshman classes.