Presently, the role of women at Santa Clara University is seldom brought into question. Women students, staff, and faculty are now well integrated into campus life and are equally represented among the university population. However, this wasn’t always the case. Prior to 1961, women’s role on campus was largely limited to supporting family and friends attached to this university, without being given the opportunity to be full members its student population.

Top Down and Bottom Up examines the history of female students on this campus with the hopes of amplifying their experiences at Santa Clara University, past and present. With the assistance of the Santa Clara University Archives & Special Collections, our research uses university documents and other archival materials to identify and assess the placement of women on campus across institutional settings, both formal and informal.

With these three exhibits, we bring the ever changing role of women on this campus into view, examining the roles women have and will continue to play on this campus.