Yale History Made By Freshman Girl

“Amy C. Solomon, 18, of South Orange, N.J., walked through the wrong door and into history Sunday as the first co-ed in the 268 years of Yale College.

It was about 12:05 p.m. in Connecticut Hall on the Old Campus quadrangle, when registrations lines opened for the 1,255 freshmen of the Class of 1973, the first Yale undergraduate class with women.

‘I didn’t intend to be first,’ breezed Amy, ‘I thought they registered a batch Saturday.’

‘I was heading for the long line at the far door,’ she said, ‘when some fellows I knew yelled to me from this door. I went over to talk, and pretty soon the registrar said this was the head of the line, and there I was.’

The daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Philip Solomon of 73 Harding Dr., South Orange, N.J., Amy is a graduate of Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., and the first of her family to attend Yale.

‘I’m a traditionalist at heart,’ she shrugged, explaing she first visited the campus four summers ago on a Y-Teen tour and ‘just liked it.’

‘When I heard they were going co-ed, well, for $10 (application fee) I took a chance.’

The jaunty brunette who was ‘in the right place at the right time’ thinks she’ll major in American studies, and will attend her first class, ‘The History of Art,’ at 9:10 p.m. Thursday in Street Hall.

Amy’s rooms are three flights up in Vanderbilt Hall, Room 39, overlooking the Old Campus quadrangle which was teeming Monday with frenetic freshmen, anxious parents and burly truckers delivering foot lockers and steamer trunks.

‘No,’ she mused, ‘there was no special reaction from the guys about co-eds here… but I think the upper classmen will be different, because they’ve known the place without girls.’

The freshmen males were ‘just as confused as the females’ as they scurried through all the preparations that afflict freshmen week on campuses everywhere.

The freshmen co-eds number 230, and another 358 junior and sophomore co-eds — transfers from other colleges — will report to campus Wednesday.

The freshmen co-eds will all be housed in Vanderbilt Hall, which was spruced up for them this summer, while advanced co-eds will occupy special quarters in all of the Yale undergraduate colleges.

Graduate Students

There have been females at Yale before, registered as graduate students, starting with the Yale School of Law in 1886.

But Yale College has been a male stronghold since Jacob Heminway signed Yale’s first registration card in 1702 and noted later he was the only student during the first half-year.

A registrar’s aide was asked Monday whether the co-eds at Yale made any difference. He surveyed the 1,255 freshman registration cards processed since Sunday, and said the difference was ’25 per cent more by volume.’

Anyway, Amy’s at Yale.”
-Excerpt courtesy of Newspapers.com, The Hartford Courant, “Yale History Made By Freshman Girl,” by Lawrence Rasie, September 16, 1969. (top) Image courtesy of the Yale University Library, Historical New Haven Digital Collection, “Yale Police Welcome Guys and Dolls of ’73,” 1969

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