University of St. Joseph Is Retaining Its Commitment to Further the Education of Women

The University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut, was founded in 1932 by the Sisters of Mercy of Connecticut. Since its founding, full-time undergraduate programs have been restricted to women. Co-educational graduate programs and adult learning program were later introduced. The university will become fully co-educational in the fall of 2018.

But the university is not abandoning its commitment to the education of women. Earlier, this month the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation moved its offices to Lynch Hall on the university’s campus. The Aurora Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that uses philanthropy with a gender lens to direct resources to women and girls so that they can achieve their social, economic, and career goals.

Rhona Free, president of the University of Saint Joseph explains that “having the Aurora Foundation on campus will provide our community, including the Women’s Leadership Center, with many more opportunities to collaborate on research, skill-building and training, and public events that support our commitment to developing the whole person, especially our long-standing focus on preparing women leaders.” Dr. Free, who was named president of the University of St. Joseph in 2015, is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

“In moving to lease space on the USJ campus, Aurora has gained much more than a location for our office. While we remain independent as the state’s only free-standing women’s fund, we look forward to opportunities to work with USJ faculty, staff, and students on our efforts to increase women’s successful completion of college and to promote women’s economic security and leadership,” said Aurora’s executive director, Jennifer Steadman. A graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Dr. Steadman holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in women’s studies from Emory University in Atlanta.

Filed Under: Women's Colleges


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