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The history of coeducation at Northwestern was not always easy or inclusive. Change was made through the work of women, womxn, gender-diverse individuals and their allies.

Explore the start of coeducation at Northwestern

Explore Northwestern's History

Step into Northwestern's history through archival materials, timelines and more.

Meet Inspiring Northwestern Women/Womxn

Read the stories of change-makers impacted University and the world.

I didn’t really think of myself as opening doors or whatever. I was just doing what I wanted to do, and I thought that was what all people, including women, should be allowed to do.”

Dawn Clark Netsch
Alumna, faculty member and political trailblazer

Dawn Clark Netch
Eva Jefferson Patterson in front of student protesters on Deering Meadow

In April 1970 I was elected student body president. The next month, four students were killed at Kent State University. I flew to Washington, D.C., for emergency meetings with other students. When I returned to Evanston, protest demonstrations against both U.S. military action in Cambodia and the murder of the Kent State students were taking place on Deering Meadow.”

Eva Jefferson Patterson
Student leader, alumna and advocate

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