Dr. John Egenolf
January 18, 2018
The following was written in response to last week’s article titled “All Past Issues of Student Newspaper Available Online.”
I happened to be in attendance at a gathering at SCU last weekend and while on campus, I browsed through the most recent edition of The Santa Clara.
Your story regarding “The double-decker (historical) headline on the front page (that) reads ‘Tradition Shattered,’ reflecting the misguided panic some male administrators and students had to the announcement that Santa Clara would be a co-educational institution” needs some refinement.
I was a student at SCU during that period of time and many students had selected SCU specifically because it was an all male university; they did not want the distraction of female students on campus. There was no “misplaced panic” as reported, but there was a very real sense of betrayal on the part of the Administration of the University.
As a result, the transition did not go particularly smoothly. The female students were not uniformly welcomed on campus with open arms and sadly, some were not treated all that well. I have spoken to some of the female students who attended SCU immediately after the shift in policy and in retrospect some of them would have preferred to have gone elsewhere, had they not been pressured to attend SCU by parents or other factors.
Things eventually settled down and as Jerry Kerr said the move was very likely necessary to better serve the general public. But while some positives were gained in the transformation, there is no question that some positives were lost as well. And some of the positives that were lost were very important to many of the students who attended SCU at that time.
SCU was a different place back then and 1961 was a different time. You cannot compare then to now.
Dr. John Egenolf (BA ‘64, MBA ‘66)
Dr. Egenolf is a retired college professor with a PhD in Statistics from the University of California at Riverside. He spent most of his active teaching years with the Department of Mathematics at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and the Department of Statistics at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He was also Consulting Statistician for the Institute of Circumpolar Health Studies at UAA. Currently, Dr. Egenolf teaches occasional adjunct classes in Mathematics and Statistics when there is a need in the local area.