Should Co-education Be Reversed At Randolph College?

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In 1891, a private liberal arts college for women opened up in Lynchburg, VA — Randolph-Macon College For Women. For well over a century the school college studentmaintained its women only charter until the college decided to admit male students effective July 1, 2007.

Ever since the school first made its announcement in September 2006, the change has met much opposition with students blocking the administrative offices, holding rallies, and even striking classes. Though the school went ahead and admitted male students as planned the protests have continued and two cases are now before the Virginia Supreme Court who has promised to hand down their decision on a lower court appeal on June 6.

Two cases are involved, both of which were dismissed by a circuit court judge in January 2007. In one case, the plaintiffs are arguing that the school had a contractual agreement with their students to remain co-education, an argument the school says doesn’t exist. In the second case, the plaintiffs have argued that the former Randolph-Macon College is a charitable trust using funds donated to educate women. The school counters that the funds are to be used to benefit students regardless of gender.

Notable alumnae of the school include author Pearl S. Buck, CNN political columnist Candy Crowley, and Susan Webber Wright a district court judge in Little Rock, AK who oversaw the Paula Jones case. The college current has 1,125 students.

Resources

College Planning Files

Graduate School Attendance Guide

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