In the spring of 1971, seven women walked across the Williams commencement stage to receive diplomas for the first time in the institution’s history. In the fall of 1971, the first four-year class of women and men arrived on campus.
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Dwelling of the Gallant: Women of Williams
Celebrate the distinct experiences and impact of half a century of Williams Women in this collection of stories—and contribute your own "tweet-sized" reflection!
We aspire to capture a representative look into the diverse and myriad experiences of the Women of Williams. Please offer your voice and perspective in this moment of recognition and celebration.
Band Director Fran Cardillo welcomed women to the band hoping they would consider being the first “some sort of honor.” For these three women it might have been an honor but mostly it was “just so much fun.”
The College’s first coeducational class in the fall of 1970 included approximately 95 women and about 1,250 men, and the first women’s athletic teams were formed alongside long-standing men’s teams. In this look back from the Williams Record, women spoke to the benefits and challenges that joining the athletic community posed.
In this Williams Record feature, read about the lesser-known history of women learning at the College long before coeducation was ever on the horizon — women who studied alongside male students but did not receive degrees until years or decades later, if they received a degree at all.
Williams women who run museums and galleries discuss their experiences, their influences and the future of their organizations with Pamela Franks, Class of 1956 Director of WCMA.
This Williams Record article by Irene Loewenson and Kiara Royer follows Williams’ path to coeducation, women’s residential and social life, and experiences of sexism.
Three alumnae—Sarah Megan Thomas ’01, Hilary Klotz Steinman ’90 and Amy Butler Greenfield ’91—reveal the untold stories of female spies and codebreakers during World War II, in this Williams Magazine interview by Williams Spanish and comparative literature professor Soledad Fox Maura.
Coinciding with the College’s move towards coeducation, Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs including athletics, was passed in June 1972. Learn about the first official female varsity sports teams in this Williams Record feature by Kiara Royer ’24.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the graduation of the first women admitted to Williams as first-year students, Williams Magazine takes a look at the lives and the impact of these Ephs—one from each decade—and that of one of the newest additions to their ranks.
As part of the Society of Alumni Bicentennial, Thomasin Jean Berry ’73 writes about her experience being among some of the first female students at Williams.
Bret Hairston ’21, an English major with a concentration in Africana studies, explores the subjectivity of Black women in their prose and poetry.
After being diagnosed with cancer, Isa Catto ’87 found joy in meaningful giving alongside other Williams women.
Jackie Laughlin ’75 reflects on the ongoing work of building the Black legacy at Williams in this “Every Person Has a Story” narrative.
Jiayang Fan ’06 shares the double bind of being an Asian woman in this Williams Magazine excerpt adapted from her New Yorker magazine piece, “The Atlanta Shooting and the Dehumanizing of Asian Women,”
Learn how the 1972 anti-discrimination law known as Title IX played out in Williams athletics, in this Williams Magazine feature by Peter May ’73 commemorating the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
Hear the narratives and perspectives of Ephwomen across the decades in these recorded events celebrating Women of Williams.