Davidson College will celebrate 50+ Years of Coeducation on campus Nov. 3-5, 2023.

Stay tuned for specific information, and enjoy learning about Davidson’s history and the impact of coeducation on our campus and around the world.

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Weekend Schedule

Share Your Stories!

We are eager to share coeducation-related stories in the months leading up to the on-campus events. Do you have a story idea? Tell us about the people and/or programs we should cover. We will reach out to you with questions about your submission, if needed. Thank you for helping us celebrate this important milestone in the life of the college!

Looking Back

In 1972, the Davidson College Board of Trustees expanded admission by allowing women without family connections at the college to transfer.

The final step was to allow women to enter as first-years, with the first full class entering in the fall of 1973.

The journey toward coeducation started much earlier. In 1861, young women took classes at Davidson, including some of President Kirkpatrick's seven daughters. This continued with other campus leaders and their families. The first real step came in 1969, when female "exchange students" from seven other colleges took classes at Davidson, usually during their junior year. In 1971, Davidson hosted its first international coed, Regina Jung of Tubingen, West Germany. By this time, the Trustees were ready to make a change for women at Davidson College.

So, why is there a “+” after 50? In 1972, Davidson became officially coeducational, and women were admitted as full degree-seeking candidates.

Marianna “Missy” Boaz Woodward ’73 was the first woman to graduate.

We recognize 1973 as the 50th anniversary, but 1972 was a key year. 


What’s Next?

A task force of faculty, staff and students will collaborate with a volunteer committee of Davidson alums to plan the 50+ Years of Coeducation celebration and related initiatives. In addition to on-campus events Nov. 3-5, 2023, we will begin storytelling at the start of the year, thanks to your good suggestions requested on this page. 

We look forward to sharing more in the weeks ahead. Thank you for joining us in celebrating 50+ Years of Coeducation at Davidson College.