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November 18, 1950

In her annual report, distributed to faculty, trustees, students and alumnae, President Blanding addressed advocates of separate academic programs for men and women, declaring that to become successful adults and citizens all students needed to be able to make wise choices and a valuable contribution to society. She said that those who would revise or adapt the traditional liberal arts curriculum specifically for women, “appear to have just discovered that 81 percent of college women eventually marry and probably have children, as a result of which they devote their major energies…to homemaking. For this vocation, so the argument runs, the traditional liberal arts training has not prepared women, either practically or psychologically….”

Blanding declared the traditional curriculum “a sufficiently flexible and efficient instrument to meet the needs of students of either sex, although it will not, of course, meet their needs in exactly the same way. But is it a problem, for instance, that physics is more highly elected by men and child psychology by women?

“I should like to urge that we concentrate more steadily on the fact that what we are concerned with is not, in the end, either physics or child psychology, but the creation of understanding which will enable the student to develop her own philosophy and values. Many of the problems raised in connection with women’s education would then lose their pressing urgency.”

The New York Times

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