"Yale Needs Women" Author Anne Gardiner Perkins at Wilton Library on Sept. 10

Wilton Library will host a book talk and signing with Anne Gardiner Perkins, author of Yale Needs Women: How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant, on Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 7-8:30 p.m. A Q&A and book signing will follow the talk. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of New Canaan's Elm Street Books.

In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating 'one thousand male leaders' each year had finally decided to open its doors to the nation's top female students. The landmark decision was a huge step forward for women's equality in education.

Or was it?

The experience the first undergraduate women found when they stepped onto Yale's imposing campus was not the same one their male peers enjoyed. Isolated from one another, singled out as oddities and sexual objects, and barred from many of the privileges an elite education was supposed to offer, many of the first girls found themselves immersed in an overwhelmingly male culture they were unprepared to face. Yale Needs Women is the story of how these young women fought against the backward-leaning traditions of a centuries-old institution and created the opportunities that would carry them into the future. Anne Gardiner Perkins's unflinching account of a group of young women striving for change is an inspiring story of strength, resilience, and courage that continues to resonate today.

Anne Gardiner Perkins attended Yale University, where she earned her BA in history and was the first woman editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. She is also a Rhodes Scholar and completed a BA in modern history at Balliol College, Oxford University. She has spent her life in education, from urban high school teacher to state-level policy maker. She received her PhD in higher education at UMass Boston and has presented papers on higher education at leading conferences. She lives with her husband in Boston and in Harvard. 

The program is free, and registration is highly recommended. To register, click here or phone (203) 762-6334.

Wilton Library is locat4d at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton, Conn. For more information, visit wiltonlibrary.org.