Valley Forge accepts first female cadets

By Vickie Papageorge
November 10, 2006

Valley Forge Military College accepted the first female cadets to the institution for the 2006-2007 academic year. After a great deal of discussion with the Valley Forge Military Academy Foundation Board of Trustees, 10 females were accepted to the college and it is anticipated that the female applications and enrollment for the 2007-2008 academic year will increase greatly.

Jennifer Myers, director of marketing and communications for the academy and college, said, “There are three significant reasons for the decision that was made to enroll women in the college. The first is that it is the right thing to do.” The service academies and private military colleges have made this transition, and as a response it has displayed the diversity in the institution.

Shaen Johnson, sophomore mathematics major said, “I think it’s a step in the right direction for the college. By not being solely for males, it’s a bigger step towards equality for men and women. If a female wants to go to a military college, they should be able to.”

The gender assimilation is that nearly 50 percent of the college graduates enter the military or a service academy within three years. Through the Early Commissioning Program, the Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, and the Service Academy Preparatory Program, Myers said, “Valley Forge has established a credible and vital relationship with the military. In order to continue to grow this relationship, they need to make fundamental changes that make the College a bona fide military institution.” The decision to allow females to enroll in the college was just the change that was needed.

All of the females reside separately from the males in Rose Hall. Myers said, “This arrangement allows for separate facilities for male and female cadets while our barracks are being renovated.”

The females are treated with the same attitude as the men in the college. Myers said, “They are fully assimilated within the Corps of Cadets.” They follow the same routine as each and every cadet in the college.

An article in the Wayne Suburban spoke of the daily routines of the students at the college, which differs from the normal college experience but the females are willing and ready to take on the challenge this opportunity brings forth.

Amanda Arnold, sophomore mathematics and secondary education major said, “The decision to allow females to enroll definitely shows the strides women are taking in society today and also shows the importance of equality between men and women. Cabrini was once female dominated which is the opposite and look at the progress we’ve made.”

The responses received after this historical event that has taken place for the college are all very optimistic. Myers said, “A majority of the cadets, alumni, staff and faculty have been supportive of the decision to enroll women at Valley Forge. They know it was the right thing to do.”

From waking up early, going to classes and participating in drills, the females will be standing next to the men and getting the education and opportunities they deserve and the college will be experiencing the beginning of a new era.

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Vickie Papageorge

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