October 08, 2009


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By Heather Johns

Lewisburg, Pa. — Bucknell University will commemorate 125 years of co-education with a celebration and symposium Oct. 22-23, in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend. Alumni, students, faculty and friends of the University will discuss the history and impact of co-education at Bucknell. || See complete schedule of events

Bucknell officially became co-educational in the 1883-84 academic year, far ahead of other private colleges and universities and nearly 90 years before any other Patriot League school.

Early trailblazers include Chella Scott, Class of 1885, the first woman to graduate from Bucknell; Eveline Stanton, Class of 1890, who became the first dean of women at Bucknell; and Mary Bartol, Class of 1894, who went on to earn a doctorate and head the classics department at Rockford College, Rockford, Ill. Mary Moore Wolfe, Class of 1896, was one of the first women in Pennsylvania to attend medical school.

Co-educational milestone
"This celebration represents a commitment to the past, present and future of the University," said Patti Flannery, a Class of 1986 graduate who is an assistant director for alumni admissions programs and co-chair of the 125 Years of Co-Education Committee. "Bucknellians have important stories to tell, both professionally and personally, and this celebration offers the perfect opportunity to showcase those stories to students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends."

The celebration will include panel discussions on entrepreneurship, service and philanthropy, contemporary issues in women's health and creative career solutions, as well as a luncheon. Bucknell University alumni, faculty and staff will share memories and experiences, assess the current status of co-education at Bucknell and reflect upon the progress made toward creating a campus environment that fosters and celebrates the equality, excellence and interdependence of all of its members.

The anniversary events will culminate with the dedication of a new 125 Courtyard on Bucknell University's Academic Quad at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.

Sara Catherine Jenks, Class of 2010, has worked with the 125 Years Committee to research the historical significance of the 125th anniversary as it relates to Bucknell and other institutions. The subject of co-education has particular significance for her because both of her parents Kristen Harcharik Jenks, Class of 1973, and David Jenks, Class of 1975, are Bucknell alumni.

"The opportunity that was special 125 years ago was co-education," said Jenks. "Now the opportunity that is special is learning inside and outside the classroom." Jenks has studied abroad through Bucknell en France and Bucknell in Ireland programs, and works in the Women's Resource Center as an office assistant.

"Bucknell was ahead of the curve, and it's still ahead of the curve," said Jenks. "Co-education was a platform for the University to continually provide unique opportunities to students."

Contact: Division of Communications

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