Western Female Seminary
|Location||US 27 and OH 73, Western College, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio|
|Area||107 acres (43 ha)|
|Architectural style||Romanesque, Colonial Revival|
|NRHP reference #||09000083|
|Added to NRHP||September 17, 1979|
Western College for Women, known locally as Western College, was primarily a women's college in Oxford, Ohio between 1855 and 1974. In 1979, the former college, known now as Western Campus, was designated a U.S. Historic district known as the Western Female Seminary Historic District.
Western College was founded in 1853 as Western Female Seminary. It was a daughter school of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and its first principal, Helen Peabody, was a Holyoke graduate. The university changed its name three times, in 1894 to The Western: A College and Seminary for Women, in 1904 to Western College for Women, and in 1971 to Western College when the institution became coeducational.
Western remained an independent women's college until 1970 when it formed a "committee of cooperation" with the adjacent Miami University, which opened enrollment between the colleges on a limited basis. This allowed Western students to take classes at Miami and use Miami's computer and hospital facilities, for example, while allowing Miami students access to intramural fields, library space, and cross-country runways on Western grounds. Before the 1973-74 school years, both presidents signed an agreement for an affiliation between the two schools. In 1974, Western became part of Miami due to financial difficulties.
In June 1964 a civil rights demonstration orientation program for Freedom Summer was held at Western College. Three volunteers, including one recently trained at Western, were murdered in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Public uproar helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act a few months later.
In 1974, the Western College for Women merged with Miami University and became the Western College Program (School of Interdisciplinary Studies). In 2007, the Western College Program was integrated into the College of Arts and Sciences and is now known as the Western Program at Miami University.
On September 17, 1979, 15 buildings and 11 structures from the former Western College were designated the Western Female Seminary Historic District.