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50 Years of Coeducation

In the fall of 1971, Canterbury embarked on a new initiative that would change the School forever: it admitted nine female students, creating a space for young women to engage and beginning a new era of coeducation. The first nine female students—Terry D’Alton ’73, Gail Erwin, Valerie Gumpper ’74, Sarah Huntington ’75, Sarah Krieger, Lisette Michelman ’74, Judy Sullivan ’74, Anne Wagenbrenner ’73, and Vicky Weill ’74—became an integral part of Canterbury’s history, paving the way for future female Saints and inspiring all students with their courage and tenacity. 

As we reflect back on the history of women at Canterbury, we are profoundly grateful for the female faculty members who have inspired and educated our young minds, the female trustees who have served on the board and steered our School boldly forward, and the alumnae who chose to bring their talents, passions, and ideas through our doors. And as we look ahead, we see a future for our female Saints that is diverse, inclusive, and even brighter because of them.

We are celebrating 50 Years of Coeducation throughout the 2021-22 academic year and invite you to follow this page as we share the stories of the women who shaped our School, including some special guest speakers.


Valerie Gumpper ’74, Lisette Michelman ’74, Sarah Huntington ’75, Terry D’Alton ’73, Gail Erwin, Sarah Krieger, Judy Sullivan ’74, Anne Wagenbrenner ’73, Gail Erwin, and Vicky Weill ’74

An Interview with Two of the First Nine, Judy Sullivan ’74 & Vicky Weill ’74

To celebrate this momentous occasion, we invited two of the first nine women—Judy Sullivan ’74 and Vicky Weill ’74—to share their memories and experiences of the initial coeducation years. Judy and Vicky have both stayed actively engaged with the School since they graduated and have displayed a sustained commitment to Canterbury, returning for the Centennial Celebration, where Judy spoke about her time as a student, and Women of Canterbury events.  

The Very Reverend Judith “Judy” Sullivan ’74 is a graduate of Wellesley College, MA, and was awarded her M.Div. from the General Theological Seminary, NY. She completed two years of her theological studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia where she received the Winters Scholarship Award and the Maul Award for academic merit and promise for ministry. Judy is the Dean of the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral where she has led a major campus development project on behalf of the Cathedral. She is also the recent past chair of the board of directors of Interfaith Philadelphia, having served a four-year term. 

Prior to ordination, she left a career in politics and corporate marketing to direct non-profit organizations which promoted access to higher education for youth with limited opportunities. The Sponsor-A-Scholar Program, replicated in 16 cities throughout the U.S., was recognized by President Clinton with a Point of Light Award in 1993.

 In the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, she is a member of the Council of Deans and a former Chair of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission. She has served as an Adjunct Faculty member at the Lutheran Seminary, and on the faculty of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation’s Preaching Excellence Program. Judy is also a member of the board of directors for Episcopal Community Services. She lives in Philadelphia, PA, and has two daughters, Emily and Grace, with her late husband Gilbert Rosenthal.

Victoria “Vicky” A. Weill ’74 earned her undergraduate degree from Dickinson University, PA, and went on to receive her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, PA. Vicky spent 43 years at the University of Pennsylvania—36 of them in the School of Nursing—before leaving the role in August of 2021 to focus on her clinical practice. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Vicky was an Associate Program Director and Advanced Senior Lecturer in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program. She is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Abington Health Children's Clinic in Lansdale, PA. Vicky also lives in the greater Philadelphia, PA, area with her husband, J. Bruce Boucher, and has three sons, Bryant, Alexander, and Nicholas.



Calendar of Events

In honor of our 50 years of coeducation, we look forward to hosting a Women’s Leadership Speaker Series, bringing together distinguished members of our alumnae family to share stories of their myriad career paths and passions with our students.  

The following schedule represents the topics of our planned discussion events. Speakers and dates will be announced at a later date. 

Social Responsibility  
Career Coaching