The First Women at Yale College: Chris Citron ’71 & Susan Cherniak Wei ’71 Attend the 50th Anniversary Celebration
Over the weekend of September 19-22, 2019, women from the classes of 1971, 1972 and 1973 gathered in New Haven to celebrate Yale’s first coeducational admissions to Yale College. Among those in attendance were Colorado alumna Chris Citron ’71 and Dr. Susan Cherniak Wei ’71 MA ’79 PhD ’88. In addition, the September/October edition of Yale Alumni Magazine included an excerpt of a 1970 essay for a high school publication written by Chris, which is quoted in part below:
Yale is fully coeducational; it’s not just an experiment. However, if it continues its policy of admitting only 250 women per year, obviously only male leaders will be turned out. As society is now structured wholly under male leadership, unless Yale agrees that women are incapable of leadership roles (ignoring the dire shortage of competent professionals in so many fields), the University’s obligation is obviously to take itself out ahead of society and initiate a different admissions policy, so as to provide more women with this so-called leadership preparation. Furthermore, I would dispute the University’s role of annually churning out a set of so-called “leaders,” and substitute the goal of “capable individuals.” Brewster has even refused to meet with members of the Admissions Committee, who have taken the unusual step of publicly stating that the caliber of the boys being admitted for next year is substantially lower than that of the girls who are being turned away. You may have noted in the New York Times recently that the first semester marks for Yale girls were across-the-board higher than for the boys.