Fifty years ago, in September 1964, Fordham opened Thomas More College, the school whose students helped pioneer the presence of undergraduate women on the University’s Rose Hill campus.
They were not the first women to attend Fordham. The Law School began accepting female students in 1918. Women also had been earning Fordham degrees at the Graduate School of Social Service and the Undergraduate School of Education, then located in Manhattan at 302 Broadway (a precursor of the University’s Lincoln Center campus). Women in the School of Education had even been commuting to the Bronx to take their science lab courses alongside male students at Rose Hill, where women had also been part of the School of Pharmacy’s student body.
But, as Raymond Schroth, S.J., noted in his book Fordham: A History and Memoir, Fordham’s Bronx campus was still “a male enclave” at the time.
The Thomas More women “radically transformed” the University, he wrote, “forcing men—faculty and students—to rethink the role of women in Catholic education and in their own lives.”
In 1974, Fordham College at Rose Hill began accepting women, and the University closed Thomas More.
This fall, the college’s alumnae returned to Rose Hill to celebrate their place in Fordham’s history. Read “Alumnae Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Thomas More College.”