Matriculation of Women at Harvard Medical School
A History of Conflict and Debate
The 50th anniversary of the matriculation of women at Harvard Medical School was in 1995. The anniversary was celebrated with commemorative events and a campaign to raise funds to increase the diversity of the faculty at all levels.
At the inaugural dinner on March 17, 1995, President Neil Rudenstine stated that "unlike most birthdays or anniversaries, we look back on this one and wonder, 'why aren't we older.'"
Indeed, it took 100 years for the Corporation and Faculty to reach consensus on the admission of women. This timeline is largely devoted to women's history at the medical school, including the first students, as well as the first researchers, scientists and staff. Pertinent events in world history have been included to give context.
We celebrate the women and men whose persistence and determination led Harvard Medical School to offer "its advantage...to women on equal terms with men."
Click on one of the tabs below to find out more about a particular timeframe.
The information used in this history was gathered by the Timeline Committee In Celebration of Women in Medicine at Harvard Medical School: Laura Brown, Mary Clark, Margaret Dale, Nancy Meyer, Madeleine Mullin, Terri Rutter, Jocelyn Spragg, Eleanor Shore, Miles Shore, Elin Wolfe, Richard Wolfe.