Northwestern Events Calendar


On the Same Terms: 150 Years of Women at Northwestern


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When: Friday, February 14, 2020
All day  

Where: Deering Library, 1937 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cory Slowik   847.491.7641

Group: University Libraries

Co-Sponsor: One Book One Northwestern

Category: Women 150


A century and a half ago, Northwestern Trustees voted to admit young women to the University “upon the same terms and conditions as young men.” But that decision on June 23, 1869, was far from the end of the work required to make equal classmates of the women on campus. The path leading from the Trustees’ simple resolution to today was not so straightforward. 


This exhibition examines the twisting and tenuous road Northwestern traveled on its way to educating college-age women in an era when the concept was still controversial, the implementation virtually untested, and the long-term results unpredictable.


Using documents, maps, photographs, and artifacts from the University Archives, the exhibit begins by tracing the unique elements in Evanston’s and Northwestern’s history that led, fourteen years from the University’s founding, to the admission of women. The focus then shifts to the dilemmas faced by University administration about exactly how to incorporate women into the college—with particular worries about housing and supervising them; the unexpected events that changed the course of coeducation at Northwestern; and the ways that women students themselves interpreted their roles as Northwestern “co-eds.”

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