More than 11,000 women are enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill today, making up more than half of the student body. That wasn't always the case.
365体育平台Take a closer look at how women’s history progressed at Carolina.
Sallie Walker Stockard
The first female students to enroll at the University were part of a six-week summer session for school teachers in 1877, but it was two decades later before women were full-time students in Chapel Hill.
In 1897, the board of trustees opened the University’s doors to women for postgraduate studies. Five women, including Sallie Walker Stockard, were accepted for postgraduate studies. Stockard was the only one of the group to graduate and became the first woman to earn a degree from Carolina when she graduated in 1898, though she was excluded from all ceremonies, including the actual presentation of degrees and class pictures.
Susan Grey Akers
365体育平台As more and more women began enrolling at Carolina in the early 1900s, leadership roles slowly began to be filled by people who reflected the student body.
365体育平台The University hired its first female faculty member in 1927 when Sallie Marks was named an assistant professor of education.
In 1942, Susan Grey Akers became the first female dean at UNC-Chapel Hill when she was appointed to serve as the dean of the School of Information and Library Science, then called the School of Library Science.
After Stockard broke down the initial barrier, it would be another six decades until the first African American woman enrolled at Carolina. In 1963, Karen Parker transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill from the Woman’s College in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A journalism major, Parker chronicled in a diary her experiences in Chapel Hill, including her involvement with the Congress of Racial Equality and activism experiences during the civil rights movement.
- 1877 The first women enrolled at the University for a summer session.
- 1896 University President Edwin Alderman called for women's admission in his inaugural address.
- 1898 Sallie Walker Stockard became the first woman to receive a degree from the university.
- 1906 Female students formed the University Women's Club to promote their interests on campus.
- 1915 Cora Zeta Corpening became the first woman student in the medical school. Margaret Berry became the first woman to graduate from the law school.
- 1924 Women began to earn doctorates from Carolina.
- 1942 Susan Grey Akers became dean of the UNC School of Library Science, making her the first woman on campus to hold that title.
- 1972 Female students numbered nearly 6,500 — about 30% of the student body.
- 1979 Karen Stevenson became the first Carolina woman — and the first black woman in the country — to receive a Rhodes Scholarship.
- 1985 The student body elected the first woman, Patricia Wallace, as its president.
Generations of women at UNC-Chapel Hill have made way for current students and alumnae to make a mark on the world.
Click on a photo below to meet a Tar Heel who is making her own history.