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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

This past weekend, I had the privilege to spend the weekend celebrating 50 years of Coeducation at Holy Cross! The weekend was filled with events to celebrate Women, and it was truly inspiring. Friday night, my friends and I were walking through Hogan and ran into a bunch of women who had been friends since they enrolled at Holy Cross in 1974, two years after Women were allowed to attend the college. They were so kind, and ready to share their amazing and hilarious stories about their time together at Holy Cross. It made me so happy to see how close they all still were. It was from then on that I felt even prouder to be a woman at this college, and that I was ready to learn all about the history of Coeducation, and the powerful woman involved in it. I kept hearing about Coeducation over the past year, but never understood how important it was until this weekend. Only about 50 years ago, Women were not allowed to attend higher education, keeping them at an inferior, uneducated level. This weekend allowed me to connect with trailblazers, women who were the first to sit in the classrooms here, to join clubs and learn in male-dominated spaces. 

On Saturday, I went to a few of the many great events. In the morning, I went to the Plaque Dedication for a bench outside of Brooks Hall to commemorate the first women who lived there in 1972 when they first arrived. This event was beautiful, and my iconic friend Allison Leahy was part of the planning committee of the Plaque, and the event as a whole! Later on, I went to the Women’s Prayer in our chapel, which celebrated the faith of all women. I had never really paid much attention to the fact that not once have I ever heard a woman preach her religion. It is always done by a man. It was so amazing to see 3 powerful Chaplins: Marybeth Kearns-Barrett, Megan Fox-Kelly, and Emily Rauer Davis profess their faith, tying it into their womanhood. I enjoyed the prayers and the blessings we all gave to each other. 

Following the prayer, my friend Bridget and I attended the reception where we met some more alumna, whom I loved talking to. At dinner, we chatted with other members of the original class about the memories and laughs they shared on campus over 50 years ago. Following dinner, there was a lecture from accomplished writer Roxane Gay. She shared humorous yet empowering remarks about what it means to be a feminist, and her experience struggling with being a “bad feminist”, her acclaimed book’s namesake. 

This weekend was so special, as it made me so proud to be a woman. Connecting with the courageous women who first filled the halls I walk down everyday was inspiring. It was even more inspiring to hear from so many of them, that they never realized that what they did would be so impactful. They simply were just taking the opportunity to learn and grow, which has led to being successful in their careers and families. I hope the women of the class of 1976 know just how much of trailblazers they truly were, paving the way for women like me to make change in our campus and world.

Ashley Bunici

Holy Cross '26

Ashley Bunici is from Long Island, New York and is a Political Science Major and Disability Studies Minor, on the pre-law track. She loves to volunteer and be involved in clubs, spend time with friends and family, and travel.