Deep Springs College was originally founded as an all-male institution; the Deed of Trust described the school as being for the benefit of “promising young men.” In the fall of 2011, the Board of Trustees voted 10-2 to remove gender as a consideration for admission. The resolution adopted at the time reads in part, “The Trustees have carefully considered the purpose of Deep Springs, how best to achieve the purpose, and changes in society since the college was founded. Therefore, the Trustees determine that it is appropriate to plan and implement a transition to a coeducational student body, subject to ongoing board review.”
In February of 2012, the Board petitioned the Inyo County Court to reinterpret or change the College’s Deed of Trust to allow students to be admitted without regard for gender. This petition was opposed in court by the two Trustees who dissented from the coeducation vote. While the legal process played out over the next five and a half years, the court barred Deep Springs from taking action to admit female students.
Days before the College’s 100th Anniversary Reunion was set to take place on campus at the end of June 2017, the Board was allowed to proceed with coeducation when the California Supreme Court rejected the final appeal of those opposed to coeducation.
The first coeducational class at Deep Springs College was recruited and applied in 2017, and its members arrived on campus in July of 2018. As the College enters its second century as an experiment in higher education, the Board and community are proud to be able to review applications from all promising young people.