Holy Cross Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Coeducation

September 20th, 2012 by 


The College of the Holy Cross is delighted to announce that the 40th anniversary of coeducation at the College will be subject of a series of events throughout the 2012-13 academic year.

Students, faculty, and staff will have extensive opportunities during the year to reflect on, acknowledge, and commemorate the moment in 1972 when the College opened its doors to women students for the first time.

“In addition to recognizing an important chapter in our history, our aim during the year ahead is to recognize women who are shaping Holy Cross today and tomorrow.   That’s why the ‘Opening Doors’ theme is so important,” explains Jacqueline Peterson, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, who chairs the coordinating committee organizing anniversary events. “We know there are still more doors to open, even as we celebrate the achievements of women who have crossed new thresholds while engaging in the life of the College and the wider world.”

The yearlong series of events kicks off today, Thursday, Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m. in Rehm Library, with alumna Rebecca Rourke Edwards ’90, author and associate professor of history at Rochester Institute of Technology, who will deliver the lecture “Seeing the Signs: Doing Deaf History at Holy Cross and Beyond.”

Then, on Saturday, Sept. 22, during Homecoming events, returning alumni and alumnae have the opportunity to tell their stories as part of an ongoing oral history project on coeducation at Holy Cross.  (Members of the Holy Cross Community with stories to share are also welcome to participate.  Stop by Hogan One, near Cool Beans, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.  No appointment necessary.)

Upcoming events:

  • The Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies annual Women in Business Conference on Oct. 20.
  • Kathleen Cain ’81 will give a talk titled “Growing up Muslim in Post-9/11 America: Identity and Well-Being in American Muslim teenagers,” on Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. in Rehm Library.
  • Fenwick Theatre’s fall production (Nov. 1-3, 8-10) will be Sophie Treadwell’s “Machinal” (1927), directed by Edward Isser of the theatre department, and considered by many critics to be one of the first great feminist dramas of the 20th century.
  • The sociology and anthropology department and women and gender studies program will host a fishbowl discussion about feminist identity at Holy Cross on Monday, Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. in the Levis Browsing Room in Dinand Library. Jen Fraser ’09, will briefly summarize her award-winning senior thesis research titled “CEOs and Secretary Ho’s? Exploring Feminist Identity and Culture at Holy Cross.”
  • Career planning will host an event titled “Knowledge is Power: A Workshop for Female Athletes,” on Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Hogan Room 408.  The panel is an opportunity for current students to learn from alumnae and former student athletes about how to transfer worth ethic, competitive mind set, and fiery determination, from the field to the office.
  • THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED: The alumni relations office will host a panel discussion and reception for alumnae at the Time & Life Building in New York City on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The panel discussion will be moderated by President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., and panelists include Donna Winn ’76, member of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees; Theresa McBride, Holy Cross professor of history since 1973; and Stephanie Montilla ’13. Register online
  • The economics department will host a panel discussion on the ethics of evaluating women’s progress and work/life balance on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Rehm Library. Featured panelist Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, will give a talk titled “Measuring Success: Women, Work and Family in the 21st Century.”  Other panelists include Sheila Cavanaugh ’81, consultant and former senior vice president of Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the United States; and Megan Fox-Kelly ’99, assistant chaplain and director of retreats at Holy Cross.
  • The visual arts department on campus is sponsoring several events. The Cantor Art Gallery will host an exhibition of women’s textiles titled “Transnational Ikat,” from Jan. 24 to March 1. A reunion of graduates, “Muses on the Mount,” from March 22 to 24, will offer a broad spectrum of events featuring professionals in collecting, arts management, exhibiting, and education.  In conjunction with this program, the Cantor Gallery will hold an exhibition of art, “SPARK,” from March 14 to April 12 featuring the work of eight alumnae.
  • The Office of College Chaplains will provide opportunities for the community to reflect on the impact of the ministry of women at Holy Cross.
  • During Winter Homecoming on Feb. 16, former coaches and athletes will be invited by current coaches and athletes to discuss the rise of women’s sports at Holy Cross.
  • This anniversary, which coincides with the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Black Student Union on campus, will provide us with opportunities to honor women of color throughout Holy Cross history.
  • Archives presents two displays currently on view in Dinand Library’s Main Reading Room: “And Then Came Women,” which provides a pictorial history of the beginnings of coeducation at Holy Cross, and “In Their Own Words,” which pairs photographs of College community members with their thoughts on coeducation.
  • Plus, many more lectures, conferences, exhibitions, and other opportunities.

Members of 40th Anniversary of Coeducation Coordinating Committee include:

Nancy Andrews, classics
David Chu, Ciocca entrepreneurial studies
Kristyn Dyer ’94, alumni relations
Ruth Ann Elias ’76, president’s office
Marybeth Kearns-Barrett ’84, chaplains’ office
Shawn Maurer, English
Theresa McBride, history
Mable Millner, student affairs
Ellen Ryder, public affairs
Jacqueline Peterson, student affairs
Helen Whall, English
Amy Wolfson, psychology, dean’s office
Donna Wrenn, human resources
Ann Zelesky, athletics

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