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May 2008

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The value of an Education for Women


Three baccalaureate graduates reflect on life after college —
the challenges, the successes and the role that St. Catherine’s
played in their lives.

ASK St. Catherine's alumnae what drew them to the College and many will recall the first time they came to campus — how they felt at home or at peace, as though they belonged.

"As soon as I stepped onto campus, I felt like I was home," says Annie Ballantine '05. "I've always been really sensitive to surroundings, and this environment was so comforting. It still is to me."

womenscolleges.orgWhen Kate Brantingham's father pushed her to make a list of the pros and cons of various schools she'd visited, she finally told him that a college either felt right or it didn't. "Other schools didn't feel like me. I didn't feel comfortable," says Brantingham, who graduated in 2001. "Here I felt very comfortable."

Angela Hall '97 fell in love with St. Kate's campus and enjoyed the students she met. "My mother loved the fact that there was a fence," she adds with a laugh.

Ask those same graduates about their education at the largest, most comprehensive college for women in the country and they likely will tell you about professors and staff members who supported and encouraged them, about courses that challenged them, and about how their education has influenced their lives and careers.

womenscolleges.orgIn fact, their description of the value of their education at a college for women is similar to what the Women's College Coalition discovered earlier this year in "What Matters in College After College," a research survey conducted by renowned higher education consultants Hardwick~Day.

The survey compared the responses of women's college alumnae with those of women graduates of public and private colleges and universities. The research identified four ways in which an education at a college for women more effectively prepares students by:

  • Creating leaders, communicators and persuaders.
  • Developing critical-thinking skills for life and career.
  • Enabling students to engage with top faculty.
  • Proving its value over a lifetime.

Recent St. Catherine's graduates Annie Ballantine, Kate Brantingham and Angela Hall are living examples of how "educating women to lead and influence" has made a difference, for them personally and for the world in which they aim to serve.


Annie Ballentine '05Designing Woman
Annie Ballantine '05
More >>

Annie Ballentine '05Going Global
Kate Brantingham '01
More >>

Annie Ballentine '05Defining Success
Angela Hall '97
More >>

Learn more about the Women's College Coalition and the Hardwick~Day survey at womenscolleges.org.


Tracy Baumann is editor of SCAN.
Reach her at tebaumann@stkate.edu
or 651.690.6407.