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Cover for the book We Are a Strong, Articulate Voice

We Are a Strong, Articulate Voice

A History of Women at Penn State Carol Sonenklar
  • Copyright: 2006
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 8.5
  • Page Count: 232 pages
  • Illustrations: 83 b&w illustrations
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-02857-6

No history of Penn State is complete without the stories of its many achieving women. From Rebecca Ewing, the first female graduate, to early pioneering faculty members like Harriet McElwain and Lucretia Van Tuyl Simmons, to latter-day standouts Pat Farrell, Nina Federoff, Cynthia Baldwin, and Connie Moore, women have been an integral part of Penn State’s tradition of excellence. In We Are a Strong, Articulate Voice, Carol Sonenklar traces the collective path of female students, staff, and faculty at the University.

Women have overcome many obstacles in their march toward equal representation and professional recognition at Penn State. We Are a Strong, Articulate Voice provides a unique look at their struggle, revealing moments that have shaped the history and identity of the University. The clash between female undergrads and the housemothers charged with keeping them out of trouble, the rise of sororities, the invaluable contribution of the Curtiss-Wright Cadets during World War II, firsthand accounts of the infamous 1950s panty raids, the effect of Title IX on women’s athletic programs—events big and small, solemn and silly, are all recorded here.

Sonenklar also examines recent milestones in women’s progress at Penn State, including one of the most important events of the last twenty-five years: the formation in the 1980s of the Strategic Study Group on the Status of Women. She considers the gains made by women faculty, staff, and students in the years since, while looking ahead to the opportunities and challenges of the future. Based on personal interviews and extensive research in the University Archives, We Are a Strong, Articulate Voice combines a lively narrative with dozens of striking photographs, making this book a fitting tribute to women’s progress at Penn State.


Foreword by Graham B. Spanier



1. Gaining the Privileges of Education

2. Few in Number but Strong in Influence

3. Making Strides

4. Improving the Learning Experience

5. Standing In for the Men

6. The Home Economists

7. Yours for Happy Living

8. A Time of Unrest

9. Feminism and Fair Play

10. Leveling the Field

11. Redefining Roles

12. The Future Is Ours

Afterword by Janis E. Jacobs


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