Mills College

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Short History

In 1852, two years after California was admitted to statehood, the Young Ladies’ Seminary in Benicia, California was established by nine citizens in what became the state capital. Cyrus and Susan Mills bought the Seminary in 1865 for $5,000, renamed it Mills College, and moved it in 1871 to its current 135-acre oasis. We invite you to take a virtual tour of our campus

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Oakland, California

Points of pride

Mills encourages openness to experimentation in the context of established academic disciplines. Programs are designed to reflect the importance of global issues, provide an understanding of the natural world, and enhance opportunities for women in their developing roles throughout society. The curriculum combines traditional liberal arts with new educational initiatives that recognize the value of cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity.

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1852

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Converse College

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Although the doors of Converse opened October 1, 1890, the first step towards the founding of the college was taken in 1889 when a prominent attorney assembled a group of Spartanburg citizens to discuss the project. Among the 13 men was Dexter Edgar Converse, a native of Vermont who had settled in Spartanburg before the Civil War. His contributions to the college were so valuable it was given his name.

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Location

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Points of pride

The Converse College commitment to creativity and the development of adaptable individuals with clear vision, wise decision and just action is guided by seven core values: excellence, integrity, exploration, diversity, respect, community and progress.

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1889

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Cedar Crest College

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Since its founding in 1867, Cedar Crest College has taken a bold approach to education - creating a college and a curriculum designed for women who want to achieve at the highest levels!

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Location

Allentown, Pennsylvania

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Recognizing the multi-dimensional nature of students, Cedar Crest College is dedicated to the education of the next generation of women leaders by preparing the whole student for life in the global community. At Cedar Crest, you will become a leader for life.

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1867

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Smith College

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Smith College began more than 140 years ago in the mind and conscience of a New England woman. Sophia Smith, who inherited a large fortune at age 65, decided that leaving her inheritance to found a college for women was the best way to fulfill her moral obligation to provide an education for women equal to that available for men.

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Location

Northampton, Massachusetts

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At Smith, your individual exploration and education come first. The focus is on making the most of who you are and what you want to become. The world is your campus, preparing you to live, work, and lead across global borders.

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1875

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Notre Dame of Maryland University

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Established by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Notre Dame of Maryland University has anticipated and met contemporary needs with visionary and pragmatic educational programs since 1895. It was the first Catholic college for women to award the 4-year baccalaureate degree.

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Location

Baltimore, Maryland

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Notre Dame of Maryland University educates women as leaders to transform the world. Embracing the vision of the founders, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the University provides a liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition, encouraging students to strive for intellectual and professional excellence, to build inclusive communities, to engage in service to others, and to become socially responsible citizens. 

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1895

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Wellesley College

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Wellesley College was founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant, who were passionate about the higher education of women. Wellesley’s first president, Ada Howard, and nearly all of the College’s early educators and administrators were women.

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Location

Wellesley, Massachusetts

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Wellesley's motto is "Not to be ministered unto but to minister." Smart, serious women choose Wellesley because the college believes in making a difference; disciplined thinking; pragmatic leadership; valuing diversity; and service.

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1870

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Mount Holyoke College

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Chemist and educator Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke College (then called Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) in 1837, nearly a century before women gained the right to vote. As the first of the Seven Sisters—the female equivalent of the once predominantly male Ivy League—Mount Holyoke has led the way in women's education.

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Location

South Hadley, Massachusetts

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Mount Holyoke provides an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts and sciences through academic programs recognized internationally for their excellence and range. The college draws students from all backgrounds into an exceptionally diverse and inclusive learning community. The famous words of Mount Holyoke's founder Mary Lyon—"Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do"—continue to inspire Mount Holyoke students.

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1837

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Bryn Mawr College

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When Bryn Mawr College opened its doors in 1885, it offered women a more ambitious academic program than any previously available to them in the United States. Other women's colleges existed, but Bryn Mawr was the first to offer graduate education through the Ph.D.—a signal of its founders' refusal to accept the limitations imposed on women's intellectual achievement at other institutions.

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Location

Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Points of pride

A Bryn Mawr woman is defined by a rare combination of personal characteristics, which include an intense intellectual commitment, a purposeful vision of her life and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to the world. These attributes create a spirit that is palpable on campus.

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1885

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