GCU to Welcome Men in All Undergraduate Courses in Fall 2012, Will Launch Men’s Sports and Provide On-Campus Housing in 2013

Lakewood, N.J. —After educating women in the Catholic Mercy tradition for more than 100 years, Georgian Court University (GCU) will become a fully coeducational institution. The university will immediately welcome male students in all undergraduate courses for the Fall 2012 semester. Beginning in Fall 2013, men will be able to reside on campus, as well as participate in athletics and other student activities.

GCU’s decision is consistent with the national trend of single-sex colleges going coed. In fact, fewer than 60 women’s colleges remain in the United States today, and in the past decade, approximately 10 all-women’s colleges have become fully coeducational, including Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia), Immaculata University (Immaculata, Pa.), Hood College (Frederick, Md.), Rosemont College (Rosemont, Pa.), Seton Hill University (Greensburg, Pa.) and Wells College (Aurora, N.Y.).

Today’s announcement by Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D., president of GCU, comes after a thorough strategic planning process that began in the summer of 2011. The school’s administration worked with current students, alumni, faculty, and staff to determine receptivity to this important step.

Overall, there was strong agreement that coeducation was a choice that would further support the established mission of Georgian Court University and make a high-quality, faith-based education more widely available in the region.

“This historic change reflects our mission and will allow us to provide more students with a comprehensive liberal arts education in the Mercy tradition,” said President Jeffries. “This was an open process, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. GCU’s special concern for women will remain a central part of our philosophy, but we are excited about the opportunity to offer a Mercy values-based education to a wider audience of students.”

“Going coed will help raise GCU’s regional profile and attract a broader range of prospective students,” said Raymond F. Shea Jr., Esq., chair of the GCU Board of Trustees. “It also enables us to make an even bigger difference as a leading regional university—by keeping students in-state and providing new options for them in the nursing and STEM fields, we can help New Jersey achieve its workforce and higher education goals.”

The university is poised, with 30 majors and a wide variety of activities, to address the needs and interests of its future male students. Additions to GCU’s athletic offerings are planned for the coming years.

In accordance with NCAA Division II membership requirements, during the initial transition to coeducation, the athletics program will expand to offer four athletic opportunities for men. Beginning in Fall 2013, GCU men will compete in cross country, soccer, basketball, and track & field.

“This is an exciting addition to our rich athletic tradition,” said Laura Liesman, GCU director of athletics and recreation. “We will strive to be competitive from the start, and will begin recruiting this summer so we can field strong teams in the 2013–2014 seasons.”

GCU is well positioned to accommodate a growing student population. The university will utilize existing on-campus housing when it accepts its first male resident students in Fall 2013.