The Transformation of Women’s Collegiate Education

The Legacy of Virginia Gildersleeve

  • Patrick Dilley

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Patrick Dilley
    Pages 1-5
  3. Patrick Dilley
    Pages 55-76
  4. Patrick Dilley
    Pages 95-109
  5. Patrick Dilley
    Pages 111-128
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 129-133

About this book


This book examines the life of Virginia Gildersleeve, the dean of Barnard College from 1911 to 1947, who dedicated her life to expanding women’s collegiate opportunities to match those of men, and to allow women entry into professional and graduate programs. Gildersleeve was the first academic to use the media to define for the American public what higher education--and particularly what higher education for women--meant. The only woman to sign the United Nations charter, Gildersleeve made waves by implementing the first program to allow women into the Navy. This book explores how Gildersleeve’s life exemplifies the expanded and changing educational opportunities for women during the Progressive Era and early twentieth century, with the rise of feminists, progressive reformers, and educational philosophers. Although Gildersleeve is nearly forgotten, her importance to women’s higher education, women’s inclusion in the US military, and world peace is captured in this blend of historical analysis and life history.


collegiate education educational equality liberal arts women and education Barnard College

Authors and affiliations

  • Patrick Dilley
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Illinois University Carbondale CarbondaleUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-46860-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-46861-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site