Professor remembers pre-coed days this International Women's Day - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Professor remembers pre-coed days this International Women's Day

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Friday was International Women's Day, and the world of higher education is just one place where women have made strides. Loras College in Dubuque used to be a school for males only, but today the school is co-ed.

Similar to many college nights, the Loras College pub is packed, but on Friday night in 20013 it is full of women, a sight that would have never been seen before the 1970's.

"I'm part of some of the few women that come here, and it's interesting when the alumni come back because it's mostly males and then all the sudden women show up." Loras College Junior Jessy Hart said.

Loras College was founded in 1839. In 1971, the college became co-ed. Donna Bauerly was one of the first four women hired to teach at the college after it became co-ed.

"Priests and boys as one of the fathers used to say to me everyday when he met me, priests and boys," said Bauerly.

Although all women were welcomed at Loras, some Loras professors had to help them fight for their rights.

"Those layman wrote the first faculty constitutions, striving for lay people rights as faculty members and won them. But those were hard fights. So it was not easy for the women at Loras College," said Bauerly.

In her time at Loras, she has battled the administration about many issues from separate bathrooms to adequate pay.

"I had to fight Loras to get equal pay. The faculty senate headed by a man that time took up my cause, and the faculty senate pleaded my case for being hired at a lower rate twice for my salary to be raised, and it was. Because it was not equitable. If it was a man being hired and he had a family, I was a single woman, their pay was higher and that could be proved with what the faculty senate did for me. On the contrary my department chair who was a man one year, unknown to me gave me his raise because he realized I was being paid so less, " said Bauerly.

In 1971, only 127 out of 1,537 students at Loras College were women, only 8 percent of the student body. Today the college is merely even in the male to female ratio.

In the interest of full disclosure, Lauren DeWitt, in addition to being an employee of KWWL is also a student finishing her degree at Loras College.

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