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Continuity and Revolt


"No man must be so committed to contemplation as, in his contemplation, to give no thought to his neighbor's needs; nor so absorbed in action as to dispense with the contemplation of God."

St. Augustine
City of God 19, 19

Although there were more students than ever, campus life in the 1950s was much as it had been a generation before. Mother's Day and Junior Week were still highlights during the second week of May. Proms and other dances at the Field House were well attended and continued to feature famous dance bands. With the exception of the nursing program, the student body remained overwhelmingly male. These familiar rhythms of student life made the upheavals of the 1960s all the more surprising. Echoing a nation-wide movement, Villanova students protested against what they considered to be unacceptable conditions on campus, including paternalistic social rules, and irrelevant curriculum, poor student facilities, and a student government devoid of any real authority. They also decried a spate of national problems: poverty, racial discrimination, and the Vietnam War. Another change was the admission of women to all programs at the university for the first time in the Fall of 1968. Although women had gradually entered academic life at Villanova over the years, coeducation was now final and complete.

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