Class of 1912: Home

Meet the Class of 1912!

Class of 1912, Freshman Year

Image Courtesy of Vanderbilt Special Collections and University Archives

Welcome!  As members of the Class of 2018 you are now part of the rich tapestry that is Vanderbilt.  When you graduate and go off into the world you will leave your mark on the university just as the Class of 1912 did over 100 years ago.  Explore our collection of images, student publications, and newspaper articles to learn about the life and times of the Class of 1912.

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Getting into Vanderbilt

Congratulations! You have been admitted to Vanderbilt University. As members of the Class of 2018 you had to go through a rigorous application process that included taking either the SAT or ACT. The Class of 1912 had to work just as hard to get admitted to Vanderbilt. Before the SAT and the ACT there was the written entrance exam; four days of testing in a variety of subjects including Latin, Greek, Mathematics, English, and History or Science. Check out some of the exams hopeful students had to successfully pass in order to become members of the Class of 1912. We know you are Class of 2017 material, but are you Class of 1912 material, too?

Women at Vanderbilt

During the planning stages of Vanderbilt’s founding everyone assumed that it would be an all-male institution, but the board of trust never enacted rules prohibiting women.  At least one woman attended Vanderbilt classes every year from 1875 on, and by 1887 a faculty committee was already exploring the possibility of coeducation at Vanderbilt.  This move towards coeducation was not necessarily an endorsement, but perhaps driven by financial interests.  Faculty salaries were subsidized by one-half of the realized tuition; tuition which women were not required pay since they could not matriculate.  From 1892 to 1901 women gained full legal equality at Vanderbilt except with respect to access to dorms.  Women remained a small minority on campus during those early years, but they definitely had an impact. Come explore the life and times of a Vanderbilt coed.

Hazing and the Freshman Experience in 1908 at Vanderbilt

Your first year at Vanderbilt is all about new experiences and adventures, but it can also be a period of upheaval in your life. You're leaving home for the first time, making new friends, and struggling through all the readings and homework assignments that professors keep handing out every time you turn around. Imagine having to deal with all of this, and also being subjected to constant “pranks” by the upperclassmen. Freshman hazing by upperclassmen was a common occurrence, and was even considered a tradition during the early 20th century. Today, Vanderbilt has a strict policy against hazing in all forms. Clearly attitudes towards hazing have changed. What role did the Class of 1912 play in changing these attitudes?

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**You will need at least one computer with projection screen and Internet connection for this activity. 

For a more dynamic session, ask five students to bring their laptops so that smaller groups of students can work on different aspects of the topic simultaneously.