In conjunction with the anniversaries, many of Yale’s schools created superb content: histories of their early women graduates, essays about women, special anniversary programming featuring current alums, and an array of exhibitions. You can find these contributions here.
In a time of turmoil, triumph: 50 years of coeducation at Yale College
A look back to the events of 1969, the year that women entered Yale College as undergraduates for the first time.
Yale Athletics Celebrates 50WomenAtYale150
As part of the larger 50WomenAtYale150 events that are happening during 2019 and 2020, a group of athletic alumnae have been planning events and activities to acknowledge the 50 years since Yale’s women athletes were awarded their first Varsity Y’s.
Showcasing Women In Film, Who Fought for Legitimacy on Two Fronts
Yale women interested in filmmaking had to overcome numerous roadblocks in the early years following the coeducation of Yale College in 1969. Namely, filmmaking as a practice at Yale had not yet been embraced as an art form, although students studied film, and women filmmakers were practically unheard of.
In honor of 50WomenAtYale150, Dwight Hall began an 11-month long celebration in January 2020 called “Kindred Spirits,” recognizing and honoring the legacy and depth of Dwight Hall’s women trailblazers.
A Home in Hendrie Hall
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of co-ed undergraduate singing, the Yale Glee Club Associates commissioned the film A Home in Hendrie Hall. This 18-minute documentary illuminates how generations of Yalies – of different genders, races, sexual identities, and nationalities – have found a welcome in the Glee Club. Interviews with singers from classes 1970 to 2022 are interwoven with audio recordings, video footage, and photos of Glee Clubs past and present.
Time and Change: A Glee Club podcast
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of co-ed undergraduate singing, the Yale Glee Club Associates commissioned Time and Change, a three-part podcast about the transformation of the Glee Club and the University. The story is told by two dozen of the people who lived it – and by music from eight decades of Glee Club recordings.
Whim ‘n Rhythm, “Hammond Song” Performance
In 1981, seven women formed the first class of Whim ‘n Rhythm to create a senior women’s a capella group akin to the Whiffenpoofs. The “Hammond Song”, written by The Roches and arranged by Guy Brewer ‘81, was the first song performed by the new group. It became Whim’s signature closing song and tells a powerful story of love, loss, and sisterhood. In spring of 2020, 231 of Whim’s alumnae reunited virtually to create this digital performance, produced and engineered by Joelle Jaffe ‘00.
In Talk and New Book, Alumna Shares Tales of Early Years of Coeducation
Anne Gardiner Perkins ’81 discusses her book, “Yale Needs Women.” The book tells the story of how Yale’s first women students challenged centuries-old traditions at what had until then been an elite male institution. Perkins was the first female editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News.
“I was one of them”: A First Woman reflects on her time at Yale
Andrea DaRif ’73, ’74 MA looks back to 1969, when she matriculated at Yale College as part of the first cohort of women.
A room of my own: A trailblazing first woman in the first days of coeducation
First Woman Cynthia Brill ’72 remembers the day of her arrival at Yale.
Dedication of the Fiftieth Anniversary Commemorative Stone on Old Campus
View the unveiling of the commemorative stone celebrating the 50-year anniversary of women being admitted to Yale College.
Highlights from the Fiftieth Anniversary
View a selection of material from the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration in September 2019, including the panels recorded during the 50th anniversary weekend.
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Celebrating Women in Economics
May 14, 2020
A virtual event presented by the Women in Economics featured a history of women in Economics at Yale, senior thesis presentations, and a keynote speech by SOM Prof. Judith Chevalier. Panel Guests included Prof. Ebonya Washington and Ph.D. students Yoko Okuyama and Pengpeng Xiao.
‘Not a man’s field’: Mariam Chamberlain and the Yale Economic Growth Center
Learn about economist Mariam Chamberlain, known as “the fairy godmother of women’s studies.”
Giving Nancy Ruggles her Due
Economist Nancy Ruggles co-authored all of the work with her husband, Yale economist Richard Ruggles, but lacked recognition for it during her lifetime.
The Young Women Who Didn’t Accept the Usual Answers
The story of the Yale economics PhD students who pushed the American Economics Association to recognize the discrimination that female economists faced.
A Second Act: Honoring the Legacy of Joyce Scholar Mary Reynolds
Trained as a social scientist, Reynolds made contributions to economics, political science, and scholarship on James Joyce.
School of Architecture
A History of Women at the Yale School of Architecture
This virtual exhibit reviews the history of women students at the school and includes photographs, articles, and events.
School of Art
The First Female Students at Yale
Yale opened its School of the Fine Arts, the nation’s first university arts school, in 1869. In accordance with the wishes of its funders, the school included women from the start.
Haas Library Marks the 150th Anniversary of the Yale School of Art
A historic ledger book on display at the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library documents two milestones of Yale history in elegant copperplate script: the founding of the Yale School of Art and the first women admitted as students anywhere at Yale.
Artist and Poet Barbara Chase-Riboud in Conversation with Claudia Rankine and Marta Kuzma
Hosted in conjunction with the series of public events organized by the Yale School of Art in celebration of its 150th anniversary and its status as a co-educational professional school of art, acclaimed artist and poet Barbara Chase-Riboud spoke as the anniversary year’s Honorary Lecturer.
Painting Free: In Conversation with Howardena Pindell
November 28, 2018
Alumna and renowned artist Howardena Pindell ‘67 M.F.A. returned to Yale to discuss her lifetime work in an event titled “Painting Free: In Conversation with Howardena Pindell.”
Reflections Fall 2019: Resistance and Blessing: Women, Ministry, and YDS
The Divinity School’s Fall 2019 issue focused on the experiences of YDS women and ministry. Explore this issue to read essays, poems, and articles written by and about the women of YDS.
The First Women of YDS
Read about Bernice Buehler ‘35 B.D. and Thelma Diener Allen ‘35 B.D., the first two women to complete the full course of study and graduate from YDS in its current location.
The Forgotten Women of YDS
Learn about the women who attended YDS before co-education.
School of Drama
Firsts and Founders: Early Women in Drama at Yale
This exhibition, created by the Yale University Library, reviews the history of women at the Yale School of Drama. Women have been students, faculty, and staff in the Yale School of Drama since its beginnings as the Department of Drama in 1925. Championed by founding chair George Pierce Baker, women made up one-third of the first classes in the Department of Drama and one of the four first teaching faculty.
School of Engineering & Applied Science
Women in Science & Engineering 2020 Edition
With this virtual exhibition, the School hopes to raise spirits and encourage STEM students with the profiles of historical and current women figures who have persevered in their endeavors. Brenda Zlamany’s commissioned painting, Portrait of Yale’s First Seven Women PhDs, is also featured.
School of the Environment
Canopy – Fall 2019 Issue (PDF)
This issue of Canopy magazine emphasizes the enduring impact of women at the school.
A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School: Barbara Babcock
This is the first installation in the series “A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School,” showcasing the life and career of the Honorable Barbara Allen Babcock ’63.
A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School: The Honorable Inez Smith Reid
This is the second installation in the series, “A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School,” showcasing the life and career of the Honorable Inez Smith Reid ’62.
A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School: Honorable Ellen Bree Burns
This is the third installation in the series, “A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School,” showcasing the life and career of the Honorable Ellen Bree Burns ’47.
Commemorating the Hon. Jane Bolin ‘31
On Feb. 28, 2019, the Black Law Students Association hosted a Black History Month Closing Celebration, commemorating Judge Jane M. Bolin ’31, the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School and the nation’s first African American woman judge.
School of Management
The Pioneers: Celebrating Women Leaders of SOM
As part of the #50WomenAtYale150 celebration, the Yale School of Management convened a special panel comprised of trailblazing Yale SOM alumnae.
Panel Discusses “The Journey to Equity” for Women In the Workplace
The panel discussion, dubbed “The Journey to Equity,” convened Yale SOM faculty members and alumni in a talk focusing on why the pace of progress in gender equity has been so slow, especially for women of color.
Celebrating Women at Yale SOM
Learn more about SOM women trailblazers and community members in honor of 50WomenAtYale150.
School of Medicine
Aperture: Portraits of Women Faculty in Medicine
View the online exhibit featuring Women Faculty at the School of Medicine. “Aperture” refers to a space or gap, signifying the scarcity of women on the walls of the School of Medicine.
Dorothy Horstmann, MD, and Current Women Faculty Are Celebrated at the Unveiling of Aperture 2
Aperture 2 is the second part in an exhibit of photographic portraits of women faculty currently at YSM.
100 Years of Women at the Yale School of Medicine
This online exhibition explores the history of women in Yale Medical School - faculty, staff, students, nurses, residents, doctoral students, and researchers - through the 20th and early 21st centuries.
100 Years of Women at YSM
This website contains links to rich content on 100 years of women at the Yale School of Medicine, including information on distinguished alumnae, stories, recordings, and more.
School of Music
Yale School of Music Hosts Its First Reunion in a Decade
The School of Music hosted its first reunion in a decade, commemorating both its 125th anniversary and the Celebration of Women at Yale. The reunion featured events that tied into Yale’s 50WomenAtYale150 initiative, including performances by and conversations with alumnae musicians.
YSM Launches Year-Long Celebration of Its 125 Year History
The year-long celebration includes a panel discussion about women composers and a world-premiere performance of a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and School of Music alumna Julia Wolfe.
Profiles in Persistence: The Women of YSM
The fall 2019-winter 2020 issue of Music at Yale includes a feature titled “Profiles in Persistence: Women of YSM.”
School of Nursing
Yale School of Nursing: Better Health for All People
Brilliant, talented women have been essential to the Yale School of Nursing since its founding in 1923 – as students, as professors, as deans, and as researchers. This online exhibition showcases the history of the Yale School of Nursing as well as the legacies of the women who shaped it.
School of Public Health
The History of the Yale School of Public Health
This article covers the history of the School of Public Health and features a photo exhibition of outstanding alumnae of the School.
Institute of Sacred Music
Two New Lectures by Marilynne Robinson
In honor of 50WomenAtYale150, the ISM invited Marilynne Robinson to deliver two lectures in spring of 2020. “Prophecy and the Present Time,”and “A Brief History of Ideas,” are now available for viewing. Marilynne Robinson is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal.
Composers Reflect On Their Work: Reena Esmail
Indian-American composer Reena Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, bringing communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces.
Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
Political polarization is biggest threat to international cohesion, former U.N. ambassador says
On June 10, 2020, Ambassador Samantha Power, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was the featured guest of the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs.
Alumni Q&A with Ambassador Barbara Woodward MA ’90
Dame Barbara Woodward (MA ’90) is the first female British Ambassador to China. She conducted this Q&A with alumni of the Jackson Institute.
Q&A with ElsaMarie D’Silva
An interview with ElsaMarie D’Silva, a 2018 World Fellow, who founded the Safecity platform. Safecity crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces in India and other countries.