Kitchen Kettle Village
CLASS OF 1974
Joanne Ladley's experience as one of the first women at W&J in 1970 was challenging. She remembers the signs that read Co-eds go home, the panty raids, and the last-minute realization that the co-eds should have a representative on the Homecoming Queen Court .Of course it improved, but I do remember saying to the only other co-ed on an intersession trip to Vienna , Austria , that I was tired of being a pioneer, Ladley says. "Could we just do something because it was a tradition? "W&J was so full of tradition, but hardly any of it came from our perspective.Blazing trails can be exhausting! However, Ladley says that W&J adapted quickly and soon she felt welcome on campus.
Ladley says that she learned the skill of challenging people or, perhaps more appropriately, challenging myself at W&J. When she asked a professor if she could write a paper on the role of women during the Civil War, he approved the topic but was less than enthusiastic and told her that she wouldnt find much material on this subject. A few weeks later, he admitted to the class that her paper was the best in the group. Similarly, when she wanted to study in American University's foreign policy semester, she was told repeatedly by male students that no programs were available. It wasnt up on any bulletin boards or in any admission catalogs, but I asked a political science professor about it and one semester later I was attending American University ," remembers Ladley. Finding people who would listen to your thoughts, your requests, and your questions was not difficult at W&J. If you had a plan, someone was usually available to facilitate it."
Ladley is still a trailblazer. After she graduated from W&J, she and her brothers took over the reins of her family's business, Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, a community of shops, restaurants, and lodging built around a manufacturing operation. She says that the best part of her job is “being able to stretch people and show them that they can do much more than they think that they can do is a skill she learned at W&J.