The first days of operation

Across the country, as Virginia Wesleyan opened in 1966, higher education was experiencing many examples of lifestyle transition.  The original VWC students were required to attend weekly chapel and assembly sessions.  Required  evening-meal attire included dresses or skirts and blouses for women and coats and ties for the men students.  Those policies were eased within a year or two, as was the requirement that women students must "sign out" before going off campus.  The original curriculum focused on freshman-level courses, with few electives available, and social activities centered around parking-lot basketball hoops, a mimeographed student newspaper, a college choir, and television watching in the two student lounges. While the limitations of smallness and newness were frustrating at times, they were balanced by the opportunity to form close ties of friendship and to help create a long list of campus "firsts."


Written by Stephen S. Mansfield. Compiled by Sophie Rondeau.