An evening of storytelling, socializing, and historiography was the culmination of a year and a half of planning on the part of faculty, students, and SMU’s Graduate Women’s Organization (GWO), including several members of the English Department. The labor of love began when Associate Professor Beth Newman, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, heard University Archivist Joan Gosnell mention that the first name to be entered in the SMU rolls was that of a woman.
“I had three reactions,” says Prof. Newman. “The first was pleasant surprise. The second was the recognition that I should not have been surprised; after all, SMU has always been co-educational. The third was that surely we need to make the history of women at SMU part of the Centennial celebration.”
The April event, the first of several to be held over the next five years, included panelists like Prof. Bonnie Wheeler who recounted the history of many women’s organizations and programs that have flourished at SMU over the past century.
-Kayla Walker Edin, Doctoral Candidate, English