Friday, March 1, 2013

San Diego College for Women

San Diego College for Women
Administration Building
San Diego College for Women

Location: San Diego, California, USA

Opened: February 1952

Closed: 1972

The San Diego College for Women was a private, Catholic women's college in San Diego, California. It was founded by the Mother Rosalie Hill, superior vicar of the Society of the Sacred Heart, in 1950. It first opened to students in February 1952, enrolling about 33 students and having a staff of nine. The first president was Mother Catherine Parks, with Hill serving as honorary president. 

In 1956, Mother Frances Danz was named president of the College. Within her first year, the college received full accreditation from the State of California and established a nursing program in collaboration with nearby Mercy College of Nursing. The college expanded again two years later, offering its first graduate degrees in 1958.

Mother Anne Farraher became president of the college in 1963. Two years later, following the Second Vatican Council that encouraged Catholic educational institutions to "unite in a mutual sharing of effort," the San Diego College for Women and San Diego University, men's college founded by the Diocese of San Diego, began to consider combining their resources. Mother Nancy Morris became president in 1968, and by 1969 had introduced coeducational classes in cooperation with the College for Men. That same year, the colleges also combined their graduation ceremonies for the first time.

Citing financial deficits and a desire to share more resources, the San Diego College for Women fully merged with San Diego University to form the coeducational University of San Diego in 1972.

Fascinating that the Vatican wanted to close down a women's college before they would even consider letting a woman into the priesthood--just goes to show that spaces segregated by sex are not necessarily equal in terms of status or respect. On the contrary, it's the women's spaces that are considered expendable....

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