Pembroke College (Brown University)

Pembroke College (Brown University)

Pembroke College (Brown University)

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Pembroke College in Brown University was the coordinate women's college for Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1891 and closed in 1971.

Founding and early history

The founding of the Women's College in Brown University in October 1891 provided an organizational structure to allow women to attend that institution. Men, meanwhile, continued to attend the male-only Brown College. The system resembled those at Columbia University (Columbia College for men, Barnard College for women) and Harvard University (Harvard College for men, Radcliffe College for women).

Brown's single-sex status had first been challenged in April 1874, when the university received an application from a female. The Advisory and Executive Committee decided that admitting women at the time was not a good proposal, but they continued to revisit the matter annually until 1888. Subsequent discussions led to the creation of the Women's College October 1, 1891. The first women students were: Maude Bonner, Clara Comstock, Nettie Goodale Murdoch, Elizabeth Peckham, Anne T. Weeden and Mary Emma Woolley. Their classes were held at a grammar school that had once been associated with Brown. After the boys went home at two o’clock, the women arrived to learn from their professors in a classroom on the second floor. The school had no lights, so the women worked until the daylight was too...
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