Amanda M. Stoermer Clifton J. Phillips Essay Contest March 31, 2004 The Evolution of the DePauw Woman Widespread participation by women in higher education is something that many people in my generation take for granted. While women now outnumber men on the DePauw campus by about a 55 to 45 ratio, that is a remarkably recent phenomenon. Nearly 150 years ago four fearless women came to Greencastle to pave the way for thousands of women who followed by the 1990s. We do not know, without some research, what our predecessors have had to go through in order for us to be here at DePauw today. Not only have the numbers of women on campus exploded over the past century and one-half, but these DePauw women have become more adventurous with majors and professions, marriage is less of a priority, and more women are attempting additional degrees.
When in 1867 the first four women were admitted to DePauw, “the best men’s college west of the Alleghenies,” they came not for themselves but for all women-kind (Neiswanger, 1). The fearless leader of those “Four Immortals,” Ms. Bettie Locke, explained, “we realized somehow that we weren’t going to college, just for ourselves, but for all the girls that would follow after us – if we could just win out” (Neiswanger, 3). At that time, DePauw (then Indiana Asbury University) propelled itself to the forefront of this movement of integrating women into all male higher education institutions. Only a few colleges such as Oberlin, Bount, Antioch, Northwestern, and Lawrence had already gone coeducational prior to the Civil War. When enrollment dropped due to the war,