Evanston College for Ladies

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The Evanston College for Ladies, in Evanston, Illinois, was a female-only Methodist-affiliated institution closely linked with Northwestern University. The college was established in 1871 as a boarding house "in a building at Chicago Avenue between Greenwood and Lake Streets, formerly occupied by the North-Western Female College (no connection to the University). The 236 students in attendance included Sarah Rebecca Roland, later Northwestern University’s first female graduate"[1] and offered supplementary coursework for women working towards degrees at Northwestern (which became coeducational in 1869). "Despite having popular opinion against them, a group of Evanston women led by Mary Haskin conceived of a nurturing, intellectual college run entirely by women."[2] The first dean of the college was Frances Willard, and the college was run by female trustees and an all-female Board of Directors.

While the college provided mainly room and board, it also offered a Bachelor of Arts degree that combined classes from Northwestern and the College. The institution also operated a college preparatory program open to both boys and girls. Evanston College for Ladies merged with Northwestern University in 1873.[3] Upon merging with Northwestern University, Willard became Northwestern's first Dean of Women.


  1. ^ http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives/exhibits/architecture/building.php?bid=14
  2. ^ Frances Willard: more than just prohibition
  3. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/196981/Evanston-College-for-Ladies