Education: The Women

For a month now there had been men students at many U.S. women's colleges, and the ivy-covered walls had not come tumbling down. Vassar had admitted 90, Skidmore 45, Bryn Mawr 3. The whole thing was admittedly temporary—to help absorb the nation's 800,000 collegiate veterans—but it had reopened the whole question: why women's colleges, anyway? Two prominent educators of women rose to it like Cyrano to an insult.

Said Dean Virginia Gildersleeve of Columbia University's Barnard College for women (which is still a Parthenon): women's colleges had now to "justify their existence"—and could. Said she: "Our students can pursue their intellectual activities...

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