Ursuline College Displays Banners About Women’s Suffrage

Ursuline College students in the 1920s

Wed 11/6 @ 6-8PM

Once upon a time, there were women’s colleges across the country, the result of top institutions, such as the Ivies, only admitting men. Ursuline College, founded in 1871, was Ohio’s first Roman Catholic College for women. Today, with most men’s schools now co-ed, it’s one of the few remaining schools whose undergraduate programs focuses primarily on women and the only one remaining in Ohio.

So it’s an appropriate location for Ohio Women Vote: 100 Years of Change, a touring exhibit featuring 12 banners with text and images celebrating women winning the right to vote. Ohio ratified the Nineteenth Amendment on June 16, 1919, the sixth state to do so, and it was signed into law on August 26, 2020. The banners are installed on campus in the Pilla Center and the Ralph M. Bess Library, with accompanying garments from Ursuline’s Historic Costume Study Collection, showing women’s wear from the Civil War through the 1980s.

The exhibit will open with a reception at the Pilla Center Wed 11/6 @ 6-8pm. Guest speaker is former Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar, an Ursuline graduate, who will speak at 6:30pm. She’ll talk about her own career in Congress, what she faced, and how it’s different today, and perhaps, how it’s not. Numbers have certainly increased: when she left Congress, there were 32 women. There are 102 today, 89 Democrats and 13 Republicans. Ohio’s delegation to the House, then numbering 21, included one other woman (Marcy Kaptur, who is still in the House). But, as resignation last week of the freshman class’s brightest star, Californian Katie Hill, over sexual activities that wouldn’t have forced any man to resign showed, challenges remain.

It’s free and open to all; no reservation is required. The exhibit will remain on view through 11/30. It’s viewable Monday through Friday @ 8:30am-7pm.


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