In the fall of 1918, 24 women were admitted as undergraduate students at William & Mary. The women of 1918 began at once to change the university. Excluded at first from participating in most existing activities, the women initiated intramural athletic competitions and organized a Women's Student Government. They were not afraid to be "the first" or to advocate for themselves. Today, women represent 58% of our students. William & Mary women also include professors, deans, coaches, award-winning scientists, playwrights, poets, entrepreneurs, community leaders and more.
Millie West arrived at William & Mary in 1959, not as a student but as an instructor, professor, coach, and Women’s Athletic Director. In 2017, she was awarded a degree of Doctor of Human Letters from the university.
Sybil Shainwald arrived at William & Mary in 1944 at the age of 16. She was involved in the Flat Hat, Colonial Echo, International Relations Club, Spanish Club, Balfour-Hillel and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.