A woman’s place

Published: May 2006


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When Boston College’s department of education became the School of Education in 1952 and admitted 110 women to the program, it made history. Although women had been earning degrees at BC’s graduate schools in downtown Boston since the 1920s, this was the first group to take classes with men on the Heights.

In audio recordings made for the school’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2002, members of the Class of 1956—this year’s Golden Eagle class—talk about life on campus as commuter students, having to wear long coats during physical education classes, the friendships forged 50 years ago, and the men who welcomed or took umbrage at enforced exposure to coeducation. The voices heard here are those of Betty Craven ’56, Carolyn Foley ’56, Peter Colleary ’56, Margaret Murphy ’56, Connie Regolino ’56, Nancy Regan ’56, Janet McCarthy ’56, and Kathie Wingsted ’56. The interviews took place in 2002 during tea at the home of Carolyn ’56 and Dan Foley ’55 and at a meeting of the class’s Now and Then group at the Newton, Massachusetts, Holiday Inn restaurant.

Since the Class of 1956 first set foot on the Heights, the Lynch School of Education, as it is now known, has grown to employ 51 full-time faculty members (53 percent of whom are women), 786 undergraduates (83 percent of whom are women), 1,055 graduate students (74 percent of whom are women), six research centers, four undergraduate majors, and 30 graduate programs in education, human development, and psychology.

Coincidentally, the 50th anniversary reunion of the Class of 1956 comes in the same year that Boston College’s alumni base shifts to more than 50 percent female.

This feature was posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 and is filed under Audio.
Audio produced by Margaret Evans; courtesy the Lynch School of Education.