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A Half-Century of Undergraduate Women

To mark and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the admission of women into a freshman class, the Princetoniana Committee, in cooperation with former University VP Robert K. Durkee '69, Diane Hasling '79, and the Office of Alumni Affairs, created an exhibit in the Frist Campus Center. That exhibit is detailed in the following exhibit, and is dedicated to the women of the great class of 2019.

Jean Hendry *80

Vitrine Panorama

The Vitrine Display in Frist


Case 1A


Princeton, facing a loss of competitiveness in recruiting against other Ivies, begins serious consideration of admitting undergraduate women starting in 1963. The Critical Languages program paved the way, enabling a few women transfer students to earn degrees. By 1967, the Trustees had approved women entering the class of 1973 as freshman in 1969. Go here for a detailed timeline of Princeton's decisions regarding coeducation.


Case 1B


Reflections: "A brick thrown through my window - now and then you could still hear 'girls go home!'"

Firsts: Commencement features both a woman valedictorian (Cynthia Chase ’75) and salutatorian (Lisa Siegman ’75).

In 1971 Princeton created women’s varsity intercollegiate sports programs. Subsequently, many alumnae have become Olympians.


Case 2A


Reflections: "I was not prepared for classmates who did not know where Arkansas was located"

Firsts: Michele Woods ’84 becomes the first female USG president.


Case 2B


Reflections: "At Princeton, I learned how to crash and burn. I bombed my first orchestra audition, I bombed a lab report, I got dumped, I burnt my burnt my sleeve off in a Chem lab gone wrong. I called home and said, “I have never worked so hard for a B.” But, I had so much fun."

Firsts: Tiger Inn, the last of the all-male eating clubs, admits women.

Notable Alumnae


Case 3A


Reflections: "In 2003-2007, women could be bold, and they were welcome - but for me, it wasn’t possible yet to be imperfect, to be vulnerable, or to be too different"

Firsts: The entering freshman class (of 2006) becomes Princeton’s first with an equal number of men and women.


Case 3B


Reflections: "Princeton is the bond that never ever dies."

Firsts: Nine of the eleven eating clubs elect women as club presidents

Notable Alumnae

She Roars 2018

She Roars!