Co-ordinate College League Richmond, Virginia.
Since the year 1910, during a period now of eight years, there has been brought to the attention of the Legislature of Virginia the wisdom and necessity of establishing a Co-ordinate college for women as a department of our State University at Charolettesville. A bill for the creation of this college was twice passed by the Senate, but lost by six votes in the House in 1914 and by but two in 1916. The bill has been fully argued before eight committees and has never failed to receive a goodly majority affirmative report. The measure has had the support of large numbers of the lending citizens of Virginia, both men and women, and has had back of it the endorsement of the State Teachers' Association, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Mother's Clubs, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Equal Sufferage League, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and the Legislative Committee of the four educational bodies composing our Annual Educational Convention. The President and the Faculty of the University have given the measure loyal and effective support; and the Rector and Board of Visitors of the University have repeatedly committed themselves by formal resolutions to the wisdom of the establishment of such a college.
The year 1918 finds us with a new world ahead of us and a new set of problems to meet. Millions of men are being called away from their daily vocations for military service, leaving the work that they have done and the responsibilities that they have borne to be assumed by women. This is equally true in the factory, in business, in education, in medicine, in scientific and research work, and in various administrative lines. Women are measuring up in a wonderful and almost surprising way to new calls which life and the world's needs sound in their ears. Greater than the immediate emergencies which they are called upon to meet is the uncertainty of the future. No man knows what the new world now in the process of creation is to be; but every wise reader of the signs of the times realizes that it is to be in the reality new. For a world at war, therefore, and for the world that shall emerge when this period of agony and destruction is at an end must the women as the men be prepared. With an instinctive grasp of their present needs and opportunities, women are thronging the colleges and universities abroad and in this country. Even in Germany they crowd into these seat of learning in ever increasing numbers. What will Virginia do in the present crisis to fit her daughters to serve the Commonwealth and the Nation and to stand prepared, and so unafraid, in the face of changing conditions? Said Mr. Jefferson, writing to Joseph C. Cabell in 1820 with reference to the University; "Surely the pride, as well as the patriotism of our Legislature will be stimulated to look to the reputation and safety of their own country."
Our allies, England and France, feeling the urge and challenge of the changing times, have after three years of devastating war, appointed commissions to study and revalue their education systems. The United States Commissioner of Education, in his message written under War Conditions begs that the American people, while abstaining from the creation of expensive buildings, will keep their colleges and universities at the highest point of efficiency in teaching and equipment, and states that "practically all women students should remain" in the colleges, universities, and technical schools, because both America and the world "will need more than they will get of that high type of service which only men and women of the best education and training can give."