The History of Breen Lodge
In 1969, Xavier University welcomed women students into the full-time, day student population. In To See Great Wonders, Fortin describes several perspectives that drove the transition:
Having female students in the undergraduate day programs would make the boys “dress nicer,” act “more civil,” and study harder so that they would not be outsmarted by girls…having young women present on campus would doubtless bring out the best in the young men and possibly decrease interfaith marriages. (2006: 260)
Subsequent to the arrival of women at Xavier, an organization was founded to support women students and seek avenues to promote gender equality. Breen Lodge was opened in 1970 to serve the needs of women students by providing support and programming. In 1980, Breen Lodge was closed to accommodate the growing need for faculty offices. The administrative decision was made despite protests from students, faculty, staff, alums, and community members. According to Fortin, “The president received over 100 letters and 1,500 signatures in protest to closing” (2006: 323).