A First-Class Act

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Members of the Class of 1987 at the Van Amringe Memorial: (standing, from left) Kokoro Kawashima, Vania Leveille, Marya Pollack, and Shelley Coleman; (seated, from left) Ilaria Rebay, Linda Mischel, and Hannah Jones. / Photography by Joe Pineiro / Courtesy of Colombia University Archives

Thirty years ago, on May 13, 1987, Columbia College graduated its first coeducational class, becoming the last Ivy League college to do so and changing the course (and courses) of the institution forever. Test your knowledge of this landmark chapter in the University’s history.

Which of the following Class of 1987 positions were held by women?

a) class valedictorian
b) class salutatorian
c) class president
d) all of the above

2. Which female author was added to the Core in 1985?
a) Jane Austen
b) George Eliot
c) Gertrude Stein
d) Virginia Woolf

3. What percentage of the first coed class was female?

a) 15 percent
b) 25 percent
c) 45 percent
d) 55 percent

4. Columbia’s Collegiate Course for Women, a home-study bachelor’s program, was created in what year?

a) 1868
b) 1883
c) 1912
d) 1919

5. In 1975, Columbia College dean Peter Pouncey’s push to admit women was rejected by President William McGill on what basis?
a) Columbia wasn’t ready for the change
b) It would be the end of Barnard
c) The process would be too costly
d) Alumni would object

6. Who was the first woman composer added to the Music Humanities course?
a) Barbara Strozzi
b) Rebecca Clarke
c) Clara Schumann
d) Hildegard von Bingen

7. In 2011, Kyra Tirana Barry ’87CC became the first woman president of the Columbia College Alumni Association. What other position has she held?

a) Emmy Award–winning sound engineer
b) team leader of the US women’s wrestling team
c) CBS business-news analyst
d) architect known for her work on historic estates

8. Which team won the first women’s Ivy championship for Columbia?
a) 2006 soccer team
b) 1999 basketball team
c) 1997 archery team
d) 2008 fencing team

9. In 1983, which administrator called coeducation “the best single thing for the life and morale and the future of the College”?

a) Michael Sovern ’53CC, ’55LAW, ’80HON, University president
b) Robert Pollack ’61CC, dean of Columbia College
c) Roger Lehecka ’67CC, ’74TC, dean of students
d) Robert Goldberger, University provost


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