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Xavier Magazine | September 26, 2017

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Making Connections

By France Griggs Sloat

A portrait of a stately woman adorns the entry to Hinkle Hall. Dressed in white gloves and a dark dress trimmed in white lace, she is modest, though clearly a woman of means. And a woman of business.

The portrait is of Mary Hinkle, whose $100,000 donation to the University in 1920 not only became the first six-figure gift to Xavier, it also made it possible for the University to construct its signature building and move to its new campus in Avondale. But the grand dame was the exception. The majority of donations that have come to the University in the ensuing decades have come from men. It only makes sense, considering the University was an all-male institution from its founding in 1831 until the fall of 1969, when women were first admitted as day students.

Now, however, all that is changing. As the University nears the 40th anniversary of the arrival of women, female students outnumber men on campus. This gender flip-flop is forcing the University to make targeted and lasting changes in the way it approaches women in terms of money, power and social status

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