Syracuse University's Crouse College presents an interesting story in the history of women's education in America. Syracuse University, the home of America's first degree granting Fine Arts College, was founded in 1873, and consisted of two buildings. The Classes for the Fine Arts College were held in the Hall of Languages, where classroom space was so limited that the voice, piano, and organ students interfered with all other classwork. In 1878, University Trustee John Crouse and Chancellor Charles N. Sims were touring the campus, and as the two men approached the highest knoll on Campus, Crouse promised, "Save this hill for me and I will put a building on it, such as you will never regret having here!" Crouse's promises held strings, however. Mr. Crouse disapproved somewhat of Syracuse's coeducational practices, and "intended the building would be used mainly for the education of young women." The University had other plans. As stated in Syracuse's yearbook, the Onondagan "While the College (Crouse) will be called a "College for women," and will furnish special advantages for the higher education of that sex, it will be conducted in accordance with the principle of co-education of the sexes, a movement in which Syracuse has always been foremost. Thus no one will be debarred from the advantages it will offer." Syracuse University, founded by the Methodist Church, has been coeducational since its creation, and when Crouse College officially opened, The College of Fine Arts was firmly established within the building's beautiful interior.
Photograph courtesy of Syracuse University.
Crouse College, c. 1890.
Photograph courtesy of the Syracuse University Archives.
Crouse College is located on the campus of Syracuse University. The grounds of Syracuse University and the Crouse College building are open to the public.
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