Friday, August 3, 2018

The Great Day

Women students disembarking from bus on the GreenIn 1967, the student-run Committee on Freshman Reading organized a day-long event to bring women from nearby colleges to Dartmouth for a series of book discussions. Based on a small exchange of students from Colby the past December, the event was far grander, bringing nearly 400 women to campus for the day. 72 books were chosen ahead of time, and small groups coalesced over each title in "an informal and relaxed atmosphere." All were invited to dinner, then an evening of events that included a free movie, a hockey game, and a variety show in the Studio Theater. The point was to socialize with members of the opposite sex, but in an environment where intellectual engagement superseded the usual partying of the big date weekends like Winter Carnival or Green Key.

Discussion group in Dartmouth classroom
Despite the alarming headline in The D, "Four Hundred Girls Invade College," the students seemed to approach the day with maturity--reading their Ibsen and Agee and participating in the discussions. The Alumni Magazine was a little less respectful, focusing on the novelty of women on campus and describing the visitors as being "as attractive as they were intelligent." The photographs from the day are a treat, showing an early co-education moment in Dartmouth's history.

Dartmouth student giving directions to a visiting student
The images are all digitized and you can find them in the Photo Files.

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