Although Union College was a school for men, women were not entirely absent from the campus, and they carefully curated their appearances so that they would be models of decorum. Anne Perkins, a contemporary of Julia Benedict and well-known woman in the college's history, is one such example. You can view a wonderful project devoted to her. As is often the case with archives and special collections repositories, much of the materials donated to the department come from individuals of relative wealth and status, so these are the women whose lives we hold the most evidence about today.
Faculty Women's Club
In the 1920s, a Faculty Women's Club, sometimes referred to as a Faculty Wives Club, was formed. The wives of faculty members were part of a genteel class, and they had social expectations to maintain an air of decorum, propriety, dress and behavior that reflected their class status. In his Encyclopedia of Union College History, Somers tells us, "The social world of the Faculty Women's Club when it began in the 1920s was closer to the ways of 1795 than to 1995. Despite the 'modern' inventions that would seem to have changed the way they lived—telephones, flush toilets, central heating, and the automobile—the role of the wives of faculty members was controlled and restricted in a manner that is now unimaginable."14