Rosemont College goes co-ed

August 26, 2009 4:08:22 AM PDT
Rosemont College's class of 2013 will be different than any other in the school's history. For the first time, men will be among the graduates.The new students were officially welcomed to Rosemont in a ceremony on Tuesday.

There is excitement all around on Rosemont's campus both the young men and women are happy about the new diversity.

After 88 years as a single-sex Catholic school Rosemont has welcomed its first young men, 74 in all, 59 of them freshmen.

"It's good that they're dissolving the barriers between who can go to school and who cannot go to school," said Stephen Thomas Boles.

"I feel really excited just to know that actually making history here at Rosemont," said Betsaleel Severe.

Young men make up nearly one third of the inaugural coed freshman class of 2013.

The success in attracting young males is being attributed to the school's suburban setting and an aggressive recruitment of male athletes.

"I think it's a great opportunity for us, we get to write the history books," said Lee Gordon Ziegler.

"It's completely different from my old school, all boys' school on Long Island, so I'm going the complete opposite direction right now," said Stephan Aquanno.

The move was necessary because of low enrollment:

"We had not been in a thriving mode we had been surviving," said Rosemont President Sharon Latchaw Hirsh.

The initial opposition to the change from some alumni was quick to fade.

"We had this very long process that was open, comprehensive and involved so much research."

There are still some concerns among the female student population that boys are what the school needs.

"The school might start pandering to their needs more than the way paid attention to us," said Tofunmi Osundeko.

But for the most part, the girls are enthusiastically welcoming their new schoolmates.

The coed conversion did call for a few changes, boys' locker rooms have been installed and the school logo and mascot will be changed. The mascot will be revealed at Rosemont on Sunday.


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