"One of the things that we want to do is to still maintain those aspects of a women's-centered education. We don't want to lose those things; we're not throwing that out and going a totally different direction," explains John Gibb, Board of Trustees Chair.
Wilson college is $31 million in debt. To help pay that deficit, officials say becoming fully co-ed, expanding science and business classes, and lowering tuition will attract higher enrollment.
However, some students say they're leaving.
"There are a number of people who will leave, and end their association with Wilson because of whatever decision is made; but I think that there is still a lot of people out there who, no matter what, Wilson means so much to them that they'll stay, and they'll do whatever it takes to make sure that it's successful," says Leslie Hoover, a senior and Vice President of Student Government.
Many alumnae are worried being co-ed will diminish the century-old traditions. Officials say they'll work hard to preserve them.
"Women that graduate in the odd years compete against women that graduate in the even years, and we have a daisy chain that goes in the Conococheague. I'm sure that we'll try to preserve as many as we can, because they've made Wilson College very dear to the alumnae of the college," says Gibb.
Despite this heart-wrenching decision for some, hundreds of Wilson graduates raised almost $82 thousand over the holiday. They're donating this double-it matching fund to the college to use however it likes.
"Wilson has been a women's college for 143 years, and it is struggling now; but this is not a reason to give up the struggle," states Deborah Barnes, Wilson College alumna.
It's a new beginning that officials hope will not overwrite the past.
Men will be allowed to enroll in all Wilson College classes this coming Fall, but will not be allowed to live on campus until Fall 2014.