Alumni Voices at WMCP
By the mid-1950s and 60s, many prominent female department chairs began retiring after long tenures. The Board of Corporators assigned search committees to find the most suitable replacements for these esteemed positions. Many faculty members nominated qualified female candidates, but by 1966 there was a marked gender disparity in the W/MCP faculty. On June 7, 1966, members of the Alumnae Association voted to send a letter to the Board of Corporators articulating their displeasure with the lack of female representation on faculty.
Drs. Catherine Macfarlane and Rebecca Rhoad to Board of Corporators, June 7, 1966.
“In the 1965-66 catalogue of the College, twenty-four departments are listed. Sixteen of these departments are headed by men. Eight are headed by women. For one-hundred and ten years the Dean of the Woman’s Medical College has been a woman. Today the Dean is a man.”
Dr. Catherine Macfarlane(left) with Pearl Buck (center), January 23, 1964.
Within four short years, Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania would begin admitting both men and women into their program, and the school dropped “Woman’s” from its name. The Alumnae Association continued to be a voice for the alumnae on both sides of co-education as the very purpose of the school's founding began to shift. The struggle to balance its history as a single-sex school and its new, co-ed identity is captured in the alumnae, faculty, and administrator voices in the historical collections of the Legacy Center Archives.
Dr. Rebecca Rhoad (right) with Mrs. Margaret Majer Kelly
Go to War Effort at WMCP
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