I write as one of that first class of women at Princeton (“In the Beginning,” cover story, Oct. 5). I had often thought that this book about coeducation should be written, and if I had stayed in academics might have attempted it myself. I think an analysis of precisely how we were “welcomed” and integrated is important: that first large meeting in Alexander Hall, where we were all given makeup kits from (I believe, memory is fuzzy) a local store and large flowers from an alumnus who had resisted coeducation. It certainly told us what about us mattered.
Or putting us in one dormitory with locks on the doors so that we would be protected from raging male hormones. (I always wondered about the discussion that led to that decision.)
Or, as mentioned in the article, the number of faculty who saw us as nothing more than our gender. I remember I said something in a German class that had nothing to do with gender, and was told by another student that the faculty member said to him that maybe it was good that Princeton had admitted women because he hadn’t considered the point I had stated and a girl’s perspective (rather than simply the fact that I might have made an intelligent comment) might add to the discussion.
I, and I am sure the other 100 women admitted as new students and the 48 transfer students, have many other stories.