In the fall of 1918, 13 women walked onto the College of Charleston campus as the first female students ever admitted to the formerly all-men’s school.
To commemorate the centennial of this milestone, the College is celebrating the 2018-2019 academic year as the “Year of Women.” Throughout the year, the College will host a series of events, speakers, seminars and more to commemorate this anniversary. The events are designed to encourage dialogue about the admission and history of women students at the College, including black women’s admission nearly 50 years after white women, and to highlight their many contributions over the last 100 years.
“The College of Charleston is proud and fortunate to have had countless women leave their mark not only on our remarkable university, but this country and the world,” says College of Charleston Interim President Stephen C. Osborne ’73. “We are proud to celebrate the Year of Women at the College in order to honor these numerous incredible women. We hope this year will serve as inspiration to women of all ages around Charleston – and the world – as to what is possible when you dare to dream and are empowered to achieve.”
The Year of Women will also celebrate other key milestones in the College’s history, including the hiring of the first female faculty members and the implementation of the Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Program.
“In WGS we regularly honor the accomplishments of women who are often either overlooked or whose contributions are forgotten,” says Kris De Welde, director of Women’s and Gender Studies at the College of Charleston. “That the College will be focusing this year on the extraordinary successes of women alumnae, faculty, administrators, staff, and current students is incredibly exciting for us. As part of the Year of Women, WGS plans to host events that will draw attention to the ways in which women’s experiences – past and present – intersect with race, social class, sexual orientation, and other social categories. We hope to engage our campus and local community in conversations about the complexities and contradictions inherent in this particular milestone.”
The first official Year of Women event, the WGS fundraiser Yes! I’m a Feminist, was held on Sept. 7, 2018.
Featured image: Students and faculty at this year’s Yes! I’m a Feminist event. (Photo by Heather Moran)