A Question About The Ivy League and The Seven Sisters

The full list of Ivy League schools includes Yale UniversityHarvard UniversityUniversity of PennsylvaniaBrown UniversityPrinceton UniversityColumbia UniversityDartmouth College, and Cornell University

Founded in the mid to late 19th century,  seven women's colleges in the Northeast of the United States have been called the Seven Sisters. Like the Ivy League (originally men's colleges), to which they were considered a parallel, the Seven Sisters have had a reputation of being top-notch and elite.

The colleges were founded to promote education for women that would be at an equal level to the education offered to men.

All seven schools were founded between 1837 and 1889. Four are in Massachusetts, two are in New York, and one is in Pennsylvania.

The name "Seven Sisters" came into use officially with the 1926 Seven College Conference, which was aimed at organizing common fund-raising for the colleges.

The title "Seven Sisters" also alludes to the Pleiades, seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the nymph Pleione in Greek myth. A cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus is also called the Pleiades or Seven Sisters.

Of the seven colleges, four still function as independent, private women's colleges. Radcliffe College no longer exists as a separate institution admitting students, dissolving in 1999 after a slow integration with Harvard beginning formally in 1963 with joint diplomas. Barnard College still exists as a separate legal entity, but is closely affiliated with Columbia. Yale and Vassar did not merge, though Yale extended an offer to do so, and Vassar became a coeducational college in 1969, remaining independent. Each of the other colleges remains a private women's college, after considering coeducation.

The Seven Sisters was a name given to seven liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women's colleges. Five of the seven institutions continue to offer all-female undergraduate programs: Barnard CollegeBryn Mawr CollegeMount Holyoke CollegeSmith College, and Wellesley CollegeVassar College has been co-educational since 1969. Radcliffe College shared common and overlapping history with Harvard College from the time it was founded as "the Harvard Annex" in 1879. Harvard and Radcliffe effectively merged in 1977, but Radcliffe continued to be the sponsoring college for women at Harvard until its dissolution in 1999. Barnard College was Columbia University's women's liberal arts undergraduate college until its all-male coordinate school Columbia College went co-ed in 1983; to this day, Barnard continues to be an all-women's undergraduate college affiliated with Columbia.

Barnard, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Vassar, Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, and Radcliffe were given the name "the Seven Sisters" in 1927, because of their relative affiliations with the Ivy League men's colleges. The schools are sometimes referred to as "the Daisy Chain" or "the Heavenly Seven."

So here's a question:

As stated above, the colleges were ostensiblyfounded to promote education for women that would be at an equal level to the education offered to men.

What additional underlying reasons, other than academics, might there have been for "The Seven Sisters" schools to have been brought into existence?

The materials for this post were gleaned from entries in Wikipedia and  related sources....

https://www.thoughtco.com/seven-sisters-colleges-historical-backgro...

Views: 221

Comment by alsoknownas on October 8, 2018 at 7:32am

That very separation spawns the likes of Kavanaugh, men detached from women, who then create their own sense of superiority, never admitting to their cloistered and aberrant behaviors.

Comment by Ron Powell on October 8, 2018 at 7:45am

"The schools are sometimes referred to as "the Daisy Chain" or "the Heavenly Seven." "

Does that sound like academia to you?

AKA, I believe you can do a bit better.

Read the question again....

Comment by Ron Powell on October 8, 2018 at 8:24am

Here's a hint:

Vassar College (/ˈvæsər/ VASS-ər) is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the United States. Founded in 1861 by Matthew Vassar, it was the first degree-granting institution of higher education for women in the United States. It became coeducational in 1969, and now has a gender ratio at the national average. The school is one of the historic Seven Sisters, the first elite female colleges in the U.S., and has a historic relationship with Yale University, which suggested a merger with the college before coeducation at both institutions.
Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on October 8, 2018 at 5:08pm

you might acknowledge three facts (tho two are on the map but not in your essay)...new jersey, connecticut... and that the ivy league was founded as an athletic conference looooooooooooooooooooooong after the schools were founded as all-male schools      the 'league' refers to athletics

Comment by Ron Powell on October 8, 2018 at 5:28pm

@JW; Quite right!! However, that has very little to do with the purpose and thrust of the question and this post......

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on October 8, 2018 at 5:33pm

i know  ;)

Comment by koshersalaami on October 9, 2018 at 4:32am

Are you talking about something other than producing suitable mates for the all male graduates of the Ivies?

Vassar was the first degree granting institution for women in the United States? I assume you mean exclusively for women. Oberlin had been granting degrees to women for a good thirty years before Vassar was founded. 

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on October 9, 2018 at 5:49am

I'm also not sure where you are going with this. 

My personal "guess" (and I am no lover of Ivy League nor Seven Sister colleges...  with the outside possibility of Cornell which never seemed to fit the snobbish exclusivity mold) is that the "Sisters" were linked with specific Ivy schools as breeding grounds for future wives, as K previously stated, and as storehouses to keep them damn uppity women from educationally doing better than men (i.e. "I have a degree in Liberal Arts, do you want fries with your order"?).  They are the educational version of the  "Separate, But Equal" doctrine.

Comment by Ron Powell on October 9, 2018 at 9:16am

@Kosh; "Are you talking about something other than producing suitable mates for the all male graduates of the Ivies?"

That's exactly what this post is about.

Comment by Ron Powell on October 9, 2018 at 9:19am

 @Amy; "the "Sisters" were linked with specific Ivy schools as breeding grounds for future wives, as K previously stated, and as storehouses to keep them damn uppity women from educationally doing better than men (i.e. "I have a degree in Liberal Arts, do you want fries with your order"?).  They are the educational version of the  "Separate, But Equal" doctrine."

This pretty much nails it...

Just add the sexual overtones and undercurrents...

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