You've come a long way , baby….

….and I don’t mean the three thousand miles in distance I traveled to New York from California.

I’ve also come a long way in time.


40 years to be exact.

40 years ago this fall,  a few hundred women enrolled as undergraduates at Yale for the first time in the school’s 300- year history.

To honor that  anniversary— when women students first became part of the student body—  there’s an event today at the Yale Club in New York.

In attendance will be members of Yale’s first coed class— women and men traveling here from all over the country.    Also attending will be a few of the Yale administration, who  orchestrated coeducation and selected those admitted.

40 years later, I’m still not sure how I made the cut.   I’m proud to be part of the first group of women ever to graduate from Yale.

This occasion is the reason I’m right here, right now—to look back and remember, and to celebrate how far we’ve all come.

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  1. says

    Whoa, congratulations! That is quite a thing to be proud of. You are barely older than me but so much changed in that short time. We took for granted women could go to places like Yale, but it’s good to be reminded that was not so. I have an (older) friend who was one of a couple of women,the first to graduate Harvard medical school. Hail to the pioneers!

  2. says

    Thank you. I am proud that I’m one of the pioneers. And you’re right, in those few years between us (I never think I’m “older”) so much changed for women. Although in some ways we still have a long way to go. More on all that another time.

  3. Ron says

    I was really proud of you 40 years ago when I learned you were going to be a part of history @ Yale and am even more proud of you today as I see the type of person you have become.

  4. Mark Geduldig-Yatrofsky says

    “I’m still not sure how I made the cut.” Really? “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.” At Beach High you combined beauty with brains, and you were active in any club that mattered. The only way for them to have excluded you would have been on the basis of the usual inconsequential considerations like skin pigmentation, chromosomal inheritance (XX vs XY), religion, etc. You were a natural for breaching the wall of arbitrary exclusion, and in my less than humble opinion, a much better reflection on that institution than was our recently departed President. (You just wanted someone else to say that, right? O. K., mission accomplished!)

  5. says

    People are going to think you’re both on my payroll. LOL.
    HOnestly speaking, probably I was more qualified than Dubya—but Yale was already changing between his time and mine.
    I’m not being self serving; other women felt under-qualified besides me. I learned a little more at the Yale event the other day what might have helped us make the cut—will discuss it in a future post– and it’s not any grades, scores or clubs I was in. I was also lucky—back then my qualifications were nowhere near what it takes to get into Yale today.

  6. says

    One of the reasons I turned down Yale – I was only a few years behind you, and was accepted before your class of pioneers graduated – was that I heard the men were totally scared s***less of the women… It was well known in those days how much harder it was for women than men to get into Yale (I think the ratio was about 1:4) and the men couldn’t cope with all those smart women. Did you find that was true?

    I never really regretted not going to Yale… You make me wonder if I made the wrong decision!

  7. says

    You turned down Yale??
    Would be fun to really “talk” about this someday and compare notes. The short answer to your questions is that the ratio was way way higher than 1:4; probably some of the men were intimidated by the women but most managed to cope. And I would love to know where you decided to go instead…

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