Into the 21st Century

Women at Muhlenberg have continued to make their presence known on campus and beyond throughout the last few decades. Since 1993, Muhlenberg has offered a Women’s (now Women’s & Gender) Studies minor, and now hosts a chapter of the Iota Iota Iota gender studies honor society. The 2010s gave rise to The Feminist Collective,  formed to raise awareness about the ways in which systems of power and inequality in relation to gender inform our campus community and the world at large. Female-identifying performance groups on campus currently include the Girls Next Door a capella group and the Damsels in Excess comedy group.  As recently as fall 2019, the Women in STEM  at Muhlenberg student club was born.

In early 2017, students and faculty from Muhlenberg joined the first Women’s March on Washington and in cities across the world. Student activism and protest on campus on topics from climate to queer rights to race have been championed and led by women.

In the summer of 2019, for the first time in its history, a woman took the helm at Muhlenberg College when Kathleen E. Harring was appointed Interim President by the Board of Trustees. A member of the Muhlenberg College psychology department since 1984, she most recently served as the College’s provost. During her tenure as provost, Harring was instrumental in guiding a number of important initiatives, including serving as co-chair for Muhlenberg’s 2017 strategic planning process, implementing procedures to support the College’s diversity initiatives and overseeing planning for newpost-graduate programs. She has a deep commitment to Muhlenberg’s liberal arts mission and to the tradition and history in which Muhlenberg’s women have played such a pivotal role.

In the summer of 2020, exactly one century after Muhlenberg College granted its first diploma to a female student, Dr. Harring was named the first female president in the College’s history.