A surprising thing happened in downtown Raleigh, N.C., last week. The trustees of Peace College, a small (800-student) women’s school, decided to change the school’s name to William Peace College, admit men, and add graduate programs.
The lead-up to the plan was so secretive that even the former president — who had been out of office for less than a year — was taken aback, and said so publicly. Alumnae and students expressed such outrage at becoming a coed school that they made the front page of the Raleigh News & Observer the next day.
Alumnae are blaming the still-new president, but it’s unlikely that she initiated the change. Whether the decision is wise is not exactly the issue here. What is impressive is the initiative of the trustees. They came to a conclusion — that an 800-person school needs to grow and by admitting men the school could benefit from its location in a thriving city — and they acted on it. You don’t see that very often.