First Exeter Women :
The Early Classes Go On The Record
Classes of 1971-1976
In light of the 50th anniversary of coeducation at Exeter, a group of us wanted to document the first-hand experiences of that historic time. Led by Chloe Gavin, Class of 1972, we've developed a series of questions we believe will elicit valuable primary source material for future students and researchers.
We invite graduates of the Classes of 1971 to 1976 to participate in First Exeter Women: The Early Classes Go On The Record, the FEW Project. These classes were chosen to span the years from the first day students in the Class of 1971 through the Class of 1976. We were the first young women to attend Phillips Exeter Academy -- the pioneers who changed the Exeter experience forever. We are now uniquely positioned to fill out the historical record by each of us reflecting on the girl we were and the woman we have become and how Exeter influenced that process.
Questions in the links below are organized by topic and include both multiple choice and impressionistic questions. You decide how much time you want to spend on the survey. We estimate the multiple choice questions can take as little as fifteen minutes. The descriptive questions may take longer, but you can choose which are relevant for you. We ask that you start with the data questions Section 1. If you decide to answer only one question (and that’s OK) please make it the first open-ended question in the Section “After Exeter”:
In terms of your personal and professional aspirations, how does the woman you are
today compare with the girl you were at Exeter, and how did Exeter influence that
You can review the survey before deciding to participate by going to this link: Read Only Survey Questions. The survey can be completed in one sitting or by repeated visits to the site.
If you wish to keep a copy of your responses, you can print out the pages of the survey which you have completed. There are more complete instructions about printing a copy once you reach the survey.
The stories and reminiscences that this project captures eventually will reside in the Academy Archives for use by future researchers. This will be the first significant material about girls and women in the Academy Archives. Before donating a copy of the responses to the Academy, we intend to send a report on the results to each person who participated. We need your permission to write that report. We will also consider writing an article or book to make these experiences available to the wider public. We ask you to give FEW permission to use and quote your responses by signing a "Permission and License" before proceeding to the survey. See the box and link below, "License, Use and Donation of Survey Responses".
On a personal note, we have found it immensely enriching and satisfying to discuss our experiences as we formulated questions for you. We hope that you will find answering the questions as valuable.
Many people were generous with their time, opinions and expertise. We want to thank Kris Christine '73, Jane Feldman '74, Ellen Fowler '72, Iris Gowen '72, Judy Hall '73, Laurie Hayes '75, Karen Lavine '73, Myra Jones '74, Nancy Wilder '75, Juliet Kostritsky '72, Aaron Perzanowski and Kent Newman '72.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with one of the survey authors listed below. You have until the end of October 2021 to submit your responses. No doubt some will respond to the entire series of questions early and in one sitting. Others will come and go over the next six months, and some will complete everything on October 30th. However you approach it, the Academy will be enriched by the information only you can provide.
The Survey sections are:
Section 1: Your Profile Then and Now
Section 2: Getting to Exeter
Section 3: Classroom Experience
Section 4: Dorm and Day Student Life
Section 5: Athletics
Section 6: Extracurriculars
Section 7: Social Life
Section 8: Health and Well-being
Section 9: After Exeter
Section 10: Additional comments
License, Use and Donation of Survey Responses
Our goal with this project is to collect and preserve information and reminiscences from the first female students at Exeter. We may also produce a report, article or book, and your responses may be quoted. When we have completed this, our intention is to donate the survey responses to the Academy Archives. The Academy archivist will determine access to and use of the material.
We ask you to give FEW permission to use your responses by electronically signing a "Permission and License" before proceeding to the survey. There is a link to the form below.
We've made some videos to encourage you to dive right into the survey ...