Folder 012 - "Bruce, Philip Alexander, 1919-1921", Item 002
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Dr. PAB - 2. proposal of our Co-Ordinate College Committee that the entrance of women to that institution should be undertaken along those lines. Since the fight for women's admission to the University beginning in 1910 had been a continuous one, and because the final action of the Board of Visitors was the fruition of this effort and was the same proposition expressed under different conditions, I should consider that while the Co-Ordinate College as such is not now actually in existence, still the presence of the women at the University is an expression of this movement in a modified form, in response to the changing conditions which obtain at the end of a ten years' fight. I am confirmed in this idea by reason of the fact that the opponents for so many years of the Co-Ordinate College bill, specially Mr. Murray McGuire, not only acquiesced, but spoke favorably to the Board in support of this solution of the contest running over a long period of years. In fact, the first two bills left the disposition of graduate and professional work as to method of handling entirely to the Board. These bills did not in any way prohibit co-education in those departments. I am enclosing you certain letters bearing on this subject which are in a measure a back-ground for the above statement. In regard to your feeling as to the development of straight-out co-education in the undergraduate department at the University, you will note from the enclosed correspondence that our committee always felt that such a provision, certainly under present conditions - both educational and psychological, would be unfortunate. We urged from the beginning that the University itself should take a constructive stand in order to avoid the very situation with which that institution, in our judgement, is face to face. My own desire is to see the University now assume a direct and purposeful policy with reference to women's education. So far their policy since the admission of women has not seemed to be to be of this character. It has been rather a response to the inevitable in as restricted a way as it was practicable to meet an insistent demand growing out of natural development of education in Virginia. I believe myself that a policy conducted in some such spirit as I have suggested by the University itself would make the women of the State feel they had a part in the life of the University, and that the University intended to recognize this fact and to develop with intelligence and reasonable speed opportunities for them at this institution and would be a really effective way of leading and guiding the forces in the State which may bring about straight-out coOeducation [co-education], as suggested by you.