Kirkland College 1965-1978: An Intimate History of the Rise And Fall of a Coordinate College for Women
About the Book
After three years of planning, Kirkland College opened in 1968 as a small, liberal arts college for women, coordinate to Hamilton College in upstate New York. The author was the first, last and only President. Planners envisioned a female counterpart of Hamilton which could introduce women without distressing alumni, and allow needed curricular expansion. But Kirkland’s advisors and administrators wanted innovation. Its openness, inclusiveness and curricular choices affronted many Hamiltonians. When, at last, Kirkland sought further support to undertake a necessary endowment campaign, Hamilton let the young college go under in a contentious and wasteful way. It closed in 1978.
About the Author
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Babbitt attended Yale University, receiving his B.A. and doctorate in American Studies. He married Natalie Zane Moore in 1954, and they have three grown children. Following a variety of jobs in academic administration, Babbitt became President of Kirkland College in 1965, at 36. The women’s coordinate college had existed only as a plan of all-male Hamilton College, but Babbitt brought it into reality, and remained until its merger with Hamilton in 1978. Retired as Senior Vice President for Development at Brown University in 1993, he continues active in the theater, as actor and Board member.