Women’s Higher Edcation to 1900: A Timeline

                  The Higher Education of Women: A Timeline to 1900

Year

Event

Personages/Circumstances

1821 Opening of Troy (N.Y.) Female Seminary Emma Willard as prime mover
1823 Opening of Hartford Female Seminary Catherine Beecher as prime mover
1836 Georgia Female College chartered in Macon, Georgia, by Methodists First women’s college;opened in 1839; now Georgia Wesleyan
1837 Opening of Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary, South Hadley, Mass. Mary Lyon the prime mover
1837 Newly opened Oberlin College enrolls women Evangelist Charles Grandison Finney a prime mover
1841 Academy of the Sacred Heart opens in NYC; now Manhattanville First Catholic college for women
1855 Elmira Colleges opens in upstate NY  
1855 University of Iowa admits women Followed by other state universities: Indian; Missouri; Michigan; California
1861 Vassar College opens in Poughkeepsie, NY Matthew Vassar, a brewer, principal benefactor and namesake
1865 Cornell University opens with policy to admit women  
1868 Wells College opens in Aurora, NY  
1869 Girton College opens as a women’s college within Cambridge University  
1870 Sophia Smith will provides for college in Northampton, Mass. Smith College opens in 1875.
1875 Wellesley College opens in Boston suburb Pauline and Henry Fowle Durant the prime movers
     
1879 President F. A. P. Barnard calls on Columbia trustees to support co-education Uses three successive annual reports to press cause.  Opposed by most faculty and students.
Unsuccessful.
1879 “Harvard Annex”/Radcliffe opens in Cambridge, Mass Arthur Gilman prime mover; women taught separately by Harvard faculty
1880 Bryn Mawr College opens in suburban Philadelphia Explicitly modeled after Johns Hopkins to provide graduate training for women
1881 American Association of University Women (AAUW) organized in Boston Association of Collegiate Alumnae (ACA) follows
1886 Columbia awards PhD to a woman, Winifred Edgerton, in astronomy Circumstances explicitly “exceptional” and not considered a precedent.
1888 Mt. Holyoke secures charter as a women’s college  
1889 Barnard College opens 4 blocks from Columbia College, initially  in ‘Annex-like” arrangement Annie Nathan Meyer a prime mover. Relationship altered in 1900, with Barnard having its own faculty and trustees
1891 Women admitted to Columbia graduate programs in the humanities and pure sciences. Columbia’s medical school and law school closed to women until 1917 and 1926 respectively.
     
1900 Graduate programs in most universities open to women, who account for 10% of PhDs awarded.  
     
     

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