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Women at DePauw University were propelled into positions of power on campus with the outbreak of World War I and America’s eventual entrance into the conflict. As male enlistment numbers rose, female students were forced to fill vacant jobs in organizations and clubs, as well as in the workforce. Working as educated people, the women at DePauw adjusted to the conflicting messages of the university and the government and developed their own understanding of what it meant to be a woman in World War I. Facing down widespread stereotypes, women pursued unparalleled positions of power during the war, thus, female students, knowingly or not, contributed to the changing landscape of early 20th century gender ideology.


Clifton J. Phillips Archives Research Award winner.