Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters
the seven oldest and most respected US women’s colleges. They are: Barnard in New York City (associated with Columbia University), Bryn Mawr in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, Massachusetts, Radcliffe in Cambridge, Massachusetts (associated with Harvard University forming the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard in 1999), Smith in Northampton, Massachusetts, Vassar (which now also has male students) in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Wellesley in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Compare Ivy League.

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▪ college organization
formally  Seven Colleges Conference 

      consortium of seven highly prestigious private institutions of higher education in the northeastern United States. At the time of the consortium's inception, all of its members were women's colleges.

      Its members include Barnard (affiliated with Columbia University), Bryn Mawr (Bryn Mawr College), Mount Holyoke (Mount Holyoke College), Smith (Smith College), Vassar (Vassar College) (now coeducational), and Wellesley (Wellesley College) colleges. The seventh, Radcliffe College, formally merged with Harvard University in 1999 and was reformed into the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a centre that offers coeducational instruction in a wide range of disciplines but does not offer degrees.

      The consortium traces its origins to a conference held at Vassar College in 1915. The participants—which included Vassar, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley—discussed ways of improving their fund-raising efforts. A second conference at Bryn Mawr in 1925 was followed by conferences at Barnard and Radcliffe in 1926; by then the name Seven Sisters had become associated with the group. In addition to seeking financial contributions, the institutions now discuss admissions criteria, academic standards, and common goals.

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Universalium. 2010.

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