While the Fall 2017 freshman class entering Colorado State University includes more women than men, females made up one-third of the first class to graduate from what was then Colorado Agricultural College in 1884. In fact, Libby Coy was the first woman to graduate from an institution of higher education in the state. After graduation, she and her two male classmates founded the alumni association.
The generations of female scholars and faculty who followed in Coy’s footsteps at CSU continued to break down barriers even while bumping up against the proverbial glass ceiling.
Following the recommendation of a groundbreaking Task Force on the Status of Women at CSU in the early 1990s, then-President Albert C. Yates established the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity to help the University promote gender equity and an improved climate for women at Colorado State.
The Commission will mark its 20th anniversary with a community celebration Oct. 3, 4-6:30 p.m., in the Lory Student Center Theater.
Since its founding, the Commission – and its more recently established Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty — has helped hold the University accountable, advanced progress on gender equity and campus climate, and advised CSU leadership on best practices and strategies. When President Tony Frank pledged in 2012 to make CSU the best University in the country for women to work and learn, he looked to the leadership of the Commission to help guide those efforts.
The Commission’s October anniversary celebration, with a keynote address by Professor Temple Grandin, will celebrate the work of the Commission while also striving to enhance awareness of women and gender issues at the University.