Xavier celebrates 40 years of contributions by women since they were admitted as full-time students

Year-long series of commemorative events is launched with the raising of banners on the Academic Mall | September 10, 2009

In recognition of the 40th anniversary of the admission of women as full-time students, Xavier University is launching a year-long series of events to draw attention to and celebrate the contributions of women.

The celebration began Sept. 14 with the raising of banners on the Academic Mall in honor of this memorable year in Xavier history. It continues this month with the Breen Lodge Oral History Project, an audio-video display at the Women's Center located on Dana Avenue, a national juried art exhibition titled Art at the X—Celebrating Women, from Oct. 2-Nov. 6 at the Cohen Art Gallery, and a celebration dinner and awards ceremony on Oct. 19 at the Cintas Center.

In January 1969, Xavier’s Board of Trustees voted to accept women as full-time day students, and 52 women enrolled for the fall semester of 1969, thus ending 138 years of single-sex education at the traditionally all-male school. Since then, women have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the Univeristy.

The purchase of Edgecliff College in 1980 raised the number of women students to 49 percent of the student body and added 10 women to the faculty. In 1981, Phyllis Smale became the first woman appointed to the Board of Trustees. In 1987, Joan Connell, PhD, became the first female vice president, overseeing academic affairs. And in 2003, Dawn Rogers became the first female athletic director.

In the fall of 2007, Xavier opened the Women’s Center, a department devoted to providing advocacy and resources, advancing education and academic excellence, and promoting research focused on women, girls and gender. The Women’s Center unites women and men students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to critically examine social injustices and take action to promote gender equity.

“Xavier has been blessed with extraordinary women who have used their talents tirelessly to help the University grow, become more diverse and advance our Jesuit mission,” says Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J.

Information on the scheduled events is available at www.xavier.edu/celebratewomen or by calling 513-745-3737.