When did ND admit first female students?...
Some people will quickly answer “1972”, when we officially became a co-ed University.
Some might answer “1965”, when we inaugurated the Co-Exchange Program* which permitted limited numbers of St. Mary’s and ND students to “cross the road”.
I trudged over to Saint Mary’s with my pals Barry Barth, Pat Bauer, and Barry Lopez. Alas, we were the only students in a Fundamentals of Acting class.
Then, most people will recall that the Grad School has been open to women for many years and Summer School and hundreds of nuns took classes at Notre Dame ever Summer.
So……….what is the answer?
This is from the SCHOLASTIC, of November, 1919:
Innovations at Notre Dame
BY MARY E SULLIVAN
Although Notre Dame University was founded in 1842, it opened summer courses of study on June 29, 1918, for the first time in its history. Moreover; coincident with this splendid work, The University astonished the country by opening its doors to women. The summer-school was not widely advertised, however, except among the Catholic Sisterhoods. The few lay women who by good fortune happened to learn of it hurried to Notre Dame, eager for the work. There they lived in Walsh Hall in sweet-companionship with, one hundred and fifty student nuns of various orders. Their anticipations of pleasure' and profit had been great, but the realization far. surpassed everything their imaginations had pictured. A wonderful intellectual feast spread amidst the beauties of nature in an atmosphere of spiritual devotion awaited them.