When the Walls Came Tumbling Down: Coeducation in Yale College

Thursday, September 19th and Friday, September 20th, the Sterling Memorial Library will be featuring When the Walls Came Tumbling Down: Coeducation in Yale College, in honor of the “50 Women at Yale 150” year-long event. This year marks the 50th anniversary of woman being admitted to Yale College and the 150th anniversary of women being admitted to any college within the University as a whole.

As described by the exhibitors:

Co-curators Michael Lotstein and Carly Sheehan will give a tour of the new exhibit on the 1969 transition to co-education at Yale College.

This exhibit highlights the academic, logistical, and social challenges faced by the first women undergraduates at Yale.
In September 1969, the first undergraduate women arrived at Yale College—230 women matriculated in the Class of 1973, 151 transfer students joined the Class of 1972, and 194 transfer students joined the Class of 1971.

The coeducation of Yale College was the culminating event in the century-long journey of women students at Yale. The journey began in 1869 with the admission of Alice and Susan Silliman, daughters of chemistry professor Benjamin Silliman, Jr. ’37, into the newly established School of the Fine Arts.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of coeducation in Yale College, the display includes photographs, memorabilia, university records, and the students’ own words from their replies to questionnaires and surveys, and from written accounts of their experiences.


Sterling Memorial Library

Memorabilia Room

120 High Street, New Haven, CT 06511