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Women at Davidson

A guide to archival and special collections materials related to the history of women at Davidson College and in the Town of Davidson.


Naturally, women complemented their academic careers at Davidson with an involvement in student life and student organizations. Many previously all-male student organizations, such as the Philanthropic Society and Student Government Association (SGA), became coeducational and allowed women to become members and serve in leadership positions. Additionally, female students began to form their own student organizations, including eating houses. In 1977, the Rusk Eating House, the first female eating house was organized in the spring to open the following fall semester. The second women's eating house, Warner Hall was established in 1982, followed by Spencer in 1986, Connor in 1991 and Turner in 1998. Since then, women have continued to have a sustained presence in student organizations on campus.

Four women stand in front of Rusk Eating House, 1977

Four women stand in front of Rusk Eating House, 1977

Listed below are select resources related to women's student organizations at Davidson.

Archival Materials

Archival materials are the institutional records of Davidson College from its establishment in 1837 to the present day. Included within the collections are president's office records, academic department files, and student organization records. Listed below is a selection of relevant collections related to women's student organizations on campus. Collections are organized by record group, along with a brief description of the collection's contents, and are hyperlinked to the collection's digital finding aid.

Student Government Association (SGA), Records, 1927 - (RG 12-4)

Description: This collection consists of records from SGA, including information on student clubs and organizations, meeting minutes from various SGA committees, and documents related to campus life and policy decisions. Included are records related to women's student organizations and eating houses.

To access select digitized materials from this collection, click here.

Rusk Women's Eating House, Records, 1977 - (RG 12-34)

Description: Rusk Eating House was founded in 1977 as a social resource for women at Davidson. It was the first women's eating house. Rusk was named for Dean Rusk, Class of 1931 and Secretary of State during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The collection contains a newspaper article about the founding of the group, invitations to parties, and correspondence regarding house events. 

This collection has been partially digitized. To access digitized materials from this collection, click here.

Delilahs, Records, 1998 - (RG 12-108)

Description: Founded by five students in 1998, the Delilahs is a student-run group of female a capella singers. The group holds smaller performances around campus for different events, hosts a cappella groups from other colleges, and has a concert once a semester. The collection includes a draft of the group's constitution, budget proposals, correspondence, and printed materials.

1972 - Davidson Women's Committee (DWC), Records, 2002 - (RG 12-107)

Description: The Davidson Women's Committee is a student organization that aims to raise awareness awareness about the needs and concerns of women on campus, as well as to educate the general Davidson College community about women's issues locally and globally. In the fall of 2009, the group renamed themselves 1972 to commemorate the year Davidson College went coeducational. The collection includes a copy of the organization's constitution and budget proposals, correspondence, meeting minutes, and printed materials.

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