Wilson College welcomes male freshmen for the first time

For the first time, the incoming freshman class of Wilson College in Chambersburg, Franklin County, includes male students.

By the looks of it, Wilson College freshman Patrick Fox is doing a pretty good job fitting in on his first day of classes. It’s easier said than done, with Fox being one of just three undergraduate men in his freshmen class at the formerly all women’s college.

“For the most part, they’ve done a pretty good job of converting things to accommodate the male population here,” Fox said.

For these guys, it wasn’t about being pioneers.

“I needed to commute, so I didn’t think I was going to be able to go to college and when I heard that they were thinking about going co-ed, I was very excited,” said freshman Ian Fields of Waynesboro.

“The reasons that we’re hearing from them at this point are the same reasons that women give for coming here and it’s the programs, it’s the academic programs,” said Brian Speer, the college’s vice president for marketing and communications.

Back in January, when the board of trustees voted to go co-ed, there was some vocal opposition to it. But now, these male students say this campus has been nothing but welcoming.

“Just like everyone else, they’re just another student here on campus, ready to get involved and just make the most of the awesome, awesome four years here,” said sophomore Katelyn Wingerd.

Students hope other young men will look into what Wilson has to offer and keep the college going for years to come.

“If you’re interested in getting a really good education, so I would definitely tell people to come here,” Fox said. “I’m actually hoping to see more people come here.”

For now, male undergraduates have to live off-campus, but the college plans to have dorms ready for them by the fall of 2014.

Men have been allowed to enroll in the college’s continuing education degree program since 1982, when that program was started.