Wilson College Welcomes First Male Student-Athlete

Byline: Chambersburg’s Patrick Fox competes as member of cross country team

Posted: September 10, 2013
Chambersburg, Pa. – By running in a cross country meet on Sept. 7, Chambersburg native Patrick Fox became the first male student-athlete to compete for Wilson College since the school’s January decision to become fully coeducational.

Wilson’s men’s and women’s cross country teams – both firsts for the college – ran in the Steven A. Warde Invitational cross country meet hosted by the State University of New York at Cobleskill. Fox is the only member of the men’s team.

“I am excited to have Patrick on the cross country team,” Coach Joanna Hayes said. “He has done a great job so far representing the program and has handled being the only male student-athlete very well. I know he will be a great leader as the men’s team grows in the coming years.”

Fox, who transferred to Wilson this year, is a sophomore majoring in English.

“I am grateful for the opportunity Wilson has provided me by allowing me to participate in athletics,” Fox said. “Right now my goal is to finish every cross country race and do so in a way that shows improvement. I think the men’s cross country program has a lot of potential and I hope to see it continue to grow in the future.”

Fox said he chose Wilson College because of its strong English program and the close-knit campus community.

The men and women’s cross country teams will compete in seven cross country meets this fall. For more information about the Wilson College cross country program and recruiting information, visit www.wilson.edu/athletics.

Wilson Today News

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Wilson College welcomes male students to main program

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Sep 3, 2013 4:06 AM

Chambersburg) — As the school year gets underway, three men attending one Franklin County college are being recognized as pioneers.

The trio is made up of the first-ever male students enrolled at Wilson College’s main academic program.

This is the first year the Chambersburg-based institution has accepted men after its trustees made the controversial decision in January to go co-ed.

Spokesman Brian Speer says male students won’t be able to live on campus yet.

“This year, we’re able to work with our current students to really understand how we want to set things up,” Speer says. “Where do we want the male students living in the dorms? What’s going to be comfortable for the people here on campus? And really make all those plans.”

Speer says the school’s move to go co-ed is part of a plan to increase its overall enrollment.

A vocal group of students and alumnae has pushed back against the college’s decision to accept men, but Speer says the school has no plans to change its mind.

Trustees have also approved a student loan buy-back program and a tuition cut of about $5,000 in the hopes of attracting more people to the school with about 700 students in all of its programs.

Wilson College begins co-ed era

Aug. 26, 2013

Last winter, two women walked past one of many banners that objected to fully opening Wilson College tomen.

“The decision was made very late in the enrollment cycle. We have very tempered expectations” – Brian Speer

Three young men made history just by showing up at Wilson College on Monday.

They are the first males ever enrolled in the main academic program at Wilson, a private liberal arts college in Chambersburg.

Founded in 1869 and located 55 miles southwest of Harrisburg, Wilson was one of only about 40 stand-alone women’s colleges in the United States.

But that changed in January, when college trustees enraged generations of alumnae and many current students by voting to make the school co-ed.

They said the change was needed to ensure the long-term viability of the college, which was struggling against dwindling enrollment and $31 million in debt. Opponents argued that Wilson offered an opportunity for woman to develop leadership and management skills that are harder to acquire on a co-ed campus.

On Monday, Brian Speer, Wilson’s vice president for marketing and communications, said the school only expected to enroll 3-5 male students this fall.

“The decision was made very late in the enrollment cycle. We have very tempered expectations,” he said.

He said the school has no enrollment targets for men. Rather, it hopes to raise total enrollment to 1,700 by early in the next decade.

Last year, Wilson had about 700 students when including graduate and adult education students.
Men have long been allowed in the graduate and adult program, which is for students of non-traditional age who live off campus.

Wilson’s main residential program had shrunk to about 300, down from a modern peak of 732 in the 1960s.

Wilson still has no co-ed dorm space, so men men won’t be able to live on campus until space becomes available next fall.

The school is revising its promotional materials and website and will soon launch an effort to recruit men, Speer said.

The school also has hired men’s golf and basketball coaches and expects to field teams in 2014-15.

The decision to go co-ed was part of a package of steps intended to increase overall enrollment. The school also lowered tuition by about $5,000, or 17 percent, and launched an innovative program to buy back student debt.

In 1950, there were 200 stand-alone women’s colleges in the United States. Supporters of making Wilson co-ed argued that, today, only a tiny portion of young woman want to attend a woman’s college.

Wilson College welcomes male freshmen for the first time

Aug. 26, 2013
Read more: http://fox43.com/2013/08/26/wilson-college-welcomes-male-freshmen-for-the-first-time/#ixzz2mjA947Hi

For the first time, the incoming freshman class of Wilson College in Chambersburg, Franklin County, includes male students.

By the looks of it, Wilson College freshman Patrick Fox is doing a pretty good job fitting in on his first day of classes. It’s easier said than done, with Fox being one of just three undergraduate men in his freshmen class at the formerly all women’s college.

“For the most part, they’ve done a pretty good job of converting things to accommodate the male population here,” Fox said.

For these guys, it wasn’t about being pioneers.

“I needed to commute, so I didn’t think I was going to be able to go to college and when I heard that they were thinking about going co-ed, I was very excited,” said freshman Ian Fields of Waynesboro.

“The reasons that we’re hearing from them at this point are the same reasons that women give for coming here and it’s the programs, it’s the academic programs,” said Brian Speer, the college’s vice president for marketing and communications.

Back in January, when the board of trustees voted to go co-ed, there was some vocal opposition to it. But now, these male students say this campus has been nothing but welcoming.

“Just like everyone else, they’re just another student here on campus, ready to get involved and just make the most of the awesome, awesome four years here,” said sophomore Katelyn Wingerd.

Students hope other young men will look into what Wilson has to offer and keep the college going for years to come.

“If you’re interested in getting a really good education, so I would definitely tell people to come here,” Fox said. “I’m actually hoping to see more people come here.”

For now, male undergraduates have to live off-campus, but the college plans to have dorms ready for them by the fall of 2014.

Men have been allowed to enroll in the college’s continuing education degree program since 1982, when that program was started.

Read more: http://fox43.com/2013/08/26/wilson-college-welcomes-male-freshmen-for-the-first-time/#ixzz2mjAI541a