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Week of March 25, 2013

Old school: U-M in History

The First Women

Women are pictured at commencement in 1912. — Courtesy Bentley Historical Library

U-M professors were divided on the move to coeducation. Some said women lacked the physical stamina and intellectual rigor for college; others — including several with ambitious daughters — were sure that women could compete.
 With March being Women’s History Month, a look back at the university’s early female students reveals what life was like for a generation of pioneers. A 1924 survey of those first students makes fascinating reading now, both for the sharp contrasts to the campus of today, and for the uncanny parallels.

Through spring, The Record’s “Old School” feature will highlight the stories and images that are being presented on the new U-M Heritage Project website. That site,, celebrates the university’s history and triumphs, in preparation for the U-M bicentennial in 2017.


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