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January 25, 1968

Asked by Barbara Walters on NBC’s Today Show if Vassar was planning on some form of coeducation President Alan Simpson said yes, that this was part of the trustees’ plan for the future of the college. He said, according to The Miscellany News, he had come to the college, in 1964, with an open mind on the question, although he was a bit inclined towards segregation of the sexes. A Sarah Lawrence graduate and thus preferring the single-sex approach, Walters asked why coeducation was a good idea. “Mr. Simpson noted that Vassar was founded to give women the same education available to men at top colleges when women were not admitted to such institutions…. Women are now admitted to most schools for segregation of the sexes is historical. Coeducation is a growing irreversible trend…. When asked why Vassar had turned down the Yale merger, Mr. Simpson again cited the desire for independence and a sense of place.”

The Years