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Cornerstone Moment: Alumna Jane Lyle ’66 looks back on her time as a student at Virginia Tech

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Category: impact Video duration: Cornerstone Moment: Alumna Jane Lyle ’66 looks back on her time as a student at Virginia Tech
Jane Lyle recalls her time living in Hillcrest Hall as a student, and some of the different rules women had to follow during her tenure at Virginia Tech.
I first came to Virginia Tech as a student in 1962. And I will never forget my first impression of Hillcrest. It appeared to me that it was a castle. I didn't know it was Hillcrest at that time, but I found out that, hey, that's where I'm going to be fitting for the next four years. Everything about Hillcrest was special. It was a self-contained dormitory. The students who were housed there could eat, sleep, study, relax. And the only reason that they had to leave was to go to class, or to go to other advance, or to go to social activities. The building in itself was isolated. And I'm sure that's because when they built it, they wanted to have the female housing as far away from the male housing as possible. The upper core, or the core was on the upper quad. There were two student bodies, there were civilian student bodies. And there was the military and civilian. And in the civilian student body, there were males and females, the males were all at the lower quad. The entire contingent of female students were at Hillcrest. There were over 6 thousand students when I went to Tech. And there were just about, I think 300 girls. There was not much negativity from the student body. Now there were some students who didn't, think women should be on campus. And in very subtle ways they would let you know. A female could not appear on campus in clothing except for a dress or skirts at knee length. If you wore slacks or shorts, you had to cover them up. In the wintertime when the wind was blowing and whipping at below zero weather and snowdrifts were everywhere. You had to go to class in the same manner. You had to not wear slacks. Some people would have as many as 3 and 4 pair of socks on to keep their legs and feet warm as they went. Life at Hillcrest was really wonderful. We were in a beautiful building. It was safe, it was secure. There were so many diverse majors, and persons who were in those majors, that it was almost a giant study hall. Everybody would help, the people who needed the help. And it was a home away from home.