First Women of VP&S

A Glimpse of History

Presented by the CUMC Archives and Special Collections

P&S Goes Co-Ed

Did you know that 2017 marks the centennial of the admission of women to the College of Physicians & Surgeons? P&S faculty had resisted co-education for decades, but in the spring of 1917 P&S Dean Samuel Lambert was persuaded by several Barnard students to admit women to the Class of 1921. He had one condition: They must raise $50,000 to allow the school to build bathroom facilities and locker rooms for women. Undaunted, the students along with Barnard Dean Virginia Gildersleeve started fundraising, and 11 women enrolled at P&S in the fall of 1917. Six graduated in 1921, among whom were the first-, third-, and fifth-ranked class members.

Six of the 11 women admitted to P&S in a photo taken in fall 1917.

First Women in P&S: 1917/1918

  • Henrietta Mae Ashton

    New York City

  • Emma E. Corwin

    Newark, NJ
    A.B., Wellesley, 1914

  • Sara Meeker Cummings

    Montclair, NJ
    A.B., Wellesley, 1915

  • Dorothea Estelle Curnow

    New York City
    A.B., Barnard, 1917

  • Susanna Edwards Schuyler Haigh

    Summit, NJ
    A.B., Vassar, 1915

  • Helen Marie Jones

    New York City

  • Gulli Charlotte Lindh

    Tyringe, Sweden
    A.B., Barnard, 1917

  • Mathilde Loth

    New York City
    A.B., Smith, 1917

  • Dorothea March Marston

    Glen Ridge, NJ
    A.B., Wellesley, 1909

  • Elizabeth Wright

    New York City
    A.B., Barnard, 1917

First Women Graduates of P&S, 1921

  • Emma E. “Jean” Corwin

  • Dorothea E. Curnow

  • Susanna E.S. Haigh

  • Gulli Lindh Muller

  • May Rivkin Mayers (A.B. Barnard, 1911) – entered in Fall 1919

  • Elizabeth Wright