It was in 1969 that Princeton University first admitted women as undergraduates. 148 women, consisting of 100 freshwomen and transfer students of other years, entered Princeton on September 6, 1969 amidst a frenzy of media ogling and ribbing. Scores of women’s papers and magazines, like Woman’s Wear Daily, featured articles on what the stylish Princeton freshwoman wore on campus, and practically every woman student was featured in her hometown newspaper.

These photographs were taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine . Story here.


  1. i think women had studied at princeton in some capacity before the official co-ed policy was introduced in 1969 – but probably not at an undergraduate level. yale also only introduced full co-education in 1969.

    yeah, the women look happy & awesome!

    • From 1963 to 1969, Princeton hosted a “critical languages” program that admitted a few women for a year at a time. The Princeton band got into trouble once for referring to them as “cunning linguists” during one of their shows.

      Anyway, by the early 80s, 44% of the student body were women, and now, I understand, it’s 50-50; oh, how I envy the male students today…

  2. That second picture has my heart. Her outfit is so in style right now! THe striped skirt, the sandals. Awesome! Some other girls have that going on too. I can’t believe it was 1969!

  3. I’ve always secretly had a thing for the preppy look, although seriously, I can’t carry it off.

  4. sam beningfield Reply

    I just realised how I want to wake up and dress for university every. single. day.

  5. This post basically sums up everything I love about the ’60s and ’70s.

    (besides how long it took for gender equality to be set in motion, that is.)

  6. I spent the night of my 23rd birthday at a wild party at the Tiger Inn in Princeton. it was only a few years later when i read F.Scott Fitzgerald’s work that i realised the significance of hanging out there. Love these pix. V x

  7. These are amazing and I had no idea that it was until so late…I live here in Princeton, so it’s so interesting for me to see these.
    Happy Valentine’s day, today!

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