From The Washington Monthly:
The Washington, D.C., area is replete with landmarks— Ford’s Theater, the Watergate Hotel, the homes of Frederick Douglass and Red Cross founder Clara Barton—where, at a particular moment in time, history was made. There is no official placard marking Trinity College as such a site, but there probably should be. For roughly twenty years in the 1960s and ’70s, the small, austere, and relatively obscure women’s college graduated prominent female scientists, scholars, doctors, educators, judges, and public servants in numbers far out of proportion to its size. The true import of this achievement is only now being realized, as the school’s graduates hit the pinnacle of their careers. The historic advances of last year’s health care reform effort, for example, bear the fingerprints of an uncanny number of Trinity alumnae.
The tale of Trinity’s golden years is, in many ways, a “right college, right time” kind of story. In the days when most of American higher education was single sex and Catholics rarely mixed with mainstream institutions for reasons of mutual suspicion, Trinity—a Catholic women’s college distinct in its dedication to academic rigor—had the pick of the brightest graduates from girls’ parochial schools.