Nancy Weiss Malkiel '65, LTD '97: 'The Struggle for Coeducation'

As the tumultuous decade of the 1960s ended, a number of traditional, prestigious colleges and universities decided to go coed, seemingly all at once, in a remarkably brief span of time. Coeducation met with fierce resistance.

Nancy Weiss Malkiel ’65, LTD ’97—a distinguished Princeton scholar well known for her work on 20th-century American history—will deliver a Presidential Colloquium on this momentous era in higher education at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the Campus Center Carroll Room. The event is open to the public at no charge.

Malkiel is professor of history, emeritus, at Princeton University. A scholar in 20th-century American history, she joined the Princeton faculty as an assistant professor in 1969, was promoted to associate professor in 1975 and was named full professor in 1982. She transferred to emeritus status in 2016.

Malkiel is the author most recently of “Keep the Damned Women Out”: The Struggle for Coeducation, a study of the cascade of decisions for coeducation at elite institutions of higher education between 1969 and 1974. The book examines why these decisions occurred when they did, how these very traditional institutions came to embrace such significant change, and what happened when the women students (or, in the case of Vassar, men students) arrived.

Malkiel’s previous publications (as Nancy J. Weiss) include Whitney M. Young, Jr., and the Struggle for Civil Rights; Farewell to the Party of Lincoln: Black Politics in the Age of FDR; and The National Urban League, 1910-1940.

From 1987 to 2011, Malkiel served as dean of the college at Princeton, and from 1982 to 1986, she was the founding master of Dean Mathey College, one of Princeton’s six residential colleges.

Malkiel is a trustee of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and a former trustee of Smith College, Princeton Day School, and McCarter Theatre in Princeton.

Malkiel received her bachelor’s degree from Smith in 1965; the college awarded her an honorary degree in 1997. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.