It has been shown conclusively by Dean J. M. Page of the University that under normal conditions the annual cost for teaching and administration for five hundred students in a Co-ordinate College would be under $33,000, and this with no unusual effort at economy. The male student-body at the University is being largely reduced; thus probably rendering available teaching hours of the professors and laboratory space which might be reserved at special times for the use of the women students. Rented quarters in Charlottesville could very well be used during the period of the war: and, even when buildings elsewhere, show the dormitory space for one hundreds students, and a class room and administrative building, together with equipment for four hundred students, can be provided for $160,000, based on pre-war costs. In the light of these needs and facts can Virginia afford in the midst of and because of this war to fail to make provisions for the higher education of her women? And can the University, a State institution, and therefore, "a creature and a servant of the people in a peculiar sense," ask under present conditions the support of the people through public taxation while she fails to meet and to insist upon the opportunity to train wisely and well the young women of the State, and while the 1,062 girls who graduate annually from our public high schools find there no opportunity for training nor inspiration, for culture or service?
In brief, this is the thought of the women and the Central Committee, their representatives, who have fostered and sustained in Virginia the movement for the establishment at the University of Virginia of a Co-ordinate College for women. As the war has brought changes to all, we too have become involed in the various phases of war work and in service necessitated by the demands of patriotism and the call of our country. It is not, therefore, practicable that we should press with the same energy and patience, as was possible under different conditions, upon the attention of the Legislature the importance of providing at once for the education of Virginia women at Virginia's University. Because of the war, we believe this to be of first importance. We appeal to our friend and representatives in the Virginia Legislature of 1918, that, while we are about the tasks that the exigencies of the time demand, they will make proper provisions for the education of the daughters of Virginia, so making available to the State and the Nation this wealth of trained womanhood and further granting relief from the anomalous conditions in the State, which calls upon women for heroic and unprecendented service, finds them confronted by a new order of society, and yet fails to make provisions for the training which the service involves and the future demands.
In 1919 we celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the University of Virginia, the creature in spirit and pattern of Mr. Jefferson's mind. A few hours before his death he was heard by those gathered about his bed to say, "Warn the committee to be on the alert." As troubling this vital and deeply important matter of the guidance and training of young women, and through proper provision for it, the completion in fact of a "system of general instruction, which should reach every description of our citizens," in the year when we strive and suffer "to make the world safe for Democracy," the dying voice of the great Democrat speaks to the members of the Virginia Legislature and bids them "Be on the alert."