Yale’s classrooms were full of men. Then the first female undergrads enrolled.Breaking News
tags: Yale, education, womens history
In April 1969, Barbara Wagner was waiting to learn whether she had been admitted to Yale when the New York Times Magazine published a juicy dive into the 268-year-old university’s plan for selecting its first female undergraduates. The author had gained access to a sampling of admissions files from the thousands of women vying to become “pioneers of their sex” as members of Yale’s first co-ed class.
He described the women as “the female versions of Nietzsche’s Uebermensch.” Superheros.
Wagner would become one of them. She packed her bags for New Haven that fall, joining a class of 230 female freshmen — picked from a pool of 2,847 women — and 1,029 male applicants.
“We felt the pressure, but we also felt the opportunity,” Wagner told The Washington Post. “We had to prove ourselves and show that they didn’t make a mistake.”
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