In the four essays below, Catherine Gallagher explores this remarkably progressive period in California history through the experiences of Berkeley women. UC alumnae took leading roles in the successful 1911 women’s suffrage campaign, which not only gave California's women the vote but also contributed to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Regent Phoebe Apperson Hearst financed and led the campaign to redesign the Berkeley campus, and UC President Benjamin Ide Wheeler oversaw its realization. Women faculty were a new group on campus who made changes to the curriculum and built their own social institutions.
Academic life was disrupted by WWI and the influenza pandemic of 1918-19, but those events also brought greater integration of the sexes in campus social life. While the Berkeley student population grew and began to diversify in the early twenties, the women, like their male peers, looked to their own generation for leadership in shaping a uniquely twentieth-century college culture.
Complementary essays explore the experiences of the first Black women students and women in the PhD programs.