Fordham University Creates Oral History Project on Its First Women Undergraduate Students

Last summer, Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, initiated the Thomas More College Oral History Project in honor of the 50-year anniversary of the first graduating class of Fordham’s liberal arts college for women. The oral histories are now available on the university’s website.

The project was supported by Fordham faculty and run by a team of students spearheaded by Maureen Murphy Nutting, a member of Thomas More College’s first graduating class and a professor emerita of history at North Seattle College. The 35 members of the Class of 1968 participated in the project, which includes audio recordings and transcriptions of interviews conducted at Fordham’s reunion event, Jubilee 2018.

“A real blessing occurred when Fordham decided that it would open its gates to women here at Rose Hill,” said Nutting. “If I had not come here, I would not be the kind of person I am. Intellectually, socially, politically, religiously, Fordham transformed me.”

The oral history project consists of stories from the first graduating class including recounts of favorite classes, friendships, and defining moments. One classmate, Maria Farenga Danziger, recalled her first visit to the Rose Hill campus when she realized she had an opportunity to earn an education that wasn’t available to her before.

Her visit to the Jubilee 2018 celebration gave her “this instant recall of my very first day at Fordham in September 1964. I remember walking up that path, in particular, focusing on the lovely trees on each side of the path and somehow knowing that my life was suddenly changing and expanding, and I was enormously excited.”

The completed project is available on the Fordham Libraries website. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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