Patton '77 to lecture on campus Thursday
Susan Patton ’77, the author of a letter to the editor printed in The Daily Princetonian advising female undergraduates to find a husband while in college, will speak on campus Thursday, American Whig-Cliosophic Society president Matt Saunders ’15 announced in an email to club members Sunday evening.
“I’m looking forward to hearing the ideas and opinions of the young women on campus,” Patton said Sunday night. “I’m delighted that this conversation, that has been overlooked or suppressed for so long, has finally been brought to light and that young women on our campus and on campuses everywhere are talking about this … I love Princeton’s campus, and I look forward to being there.”
Patton will give a brief lecture before taking part in a two-part question-and-answer session. She will first answer questions from a moderator before taking questions from students in the audience.
Patton sparked a national debate after her letter to the 'Prince' published two weeks ago encouraged female students on campus to find a husband before graduation, arguing that they would never again be surrounded by the same concentration of intellectually stimulating men.
“We wanted to give her a forum to be heard and to interact with students who may or may not agree with her,” Saunders said Sunday night following the announcement. “We think through that forum people may come to learn a lot, they might walk away with a better interpretation of what she was trying to get across and she might walk away with a changed opinion on her views.”
Saunders added that Patton was “very eager to accept” the society’s invitation to speak on campus. He explained that the society wanted to bring her to campus in order to give students the opportunity to have their voices heard on the issues addressed in her letter. He expects the event to be one of the most packed lectures they will host this semester.
“I think that the reaction on campus was understandable and appropriate,” he said. “When there are times where there is controversy, we like to set up a forum where people can have their voices heard in a very safe fashion.”
Whig-Clio will also host a small dinner for 12 students with Patton before the lecture. Interested students must apply for the discussion by Monday evening. The application form asks students to answer in one sentence why they want to attend the dinner.
The event, titled “Advice From a Princeton Mom,” will take place on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Whig Hall Senate Chamber.