UNOW & Then

The UNOW Oral History Project

UNOW & Then is an oral history project in collaboration with University NOW Day Nursery, Princeton University students, and community members. Through audio interviews, archival research, contextual essays, and multimedia exhibits, the project will preserve and interpret UNOW’s first 50 years.

UNOW opened its doors in September 1970. Founded by the local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and supported by Princeton University, the nursery has deep feminist roots.

UNOW’s founders had a radical vision for the time, with gender equality and anti-sex stereotyping at the program’s core. The nursery provided full-day hours so that women, especially single mothers, could attend college or work.  The founders viewed childcare as a profession that performed valuable work—not simply as a “women’s issue.”

In 2020, UNOW will celebrate its semicentennial.  Generations of Princeton families have sustained UNOW for fifty years. In some ways, it is still the child of its passionate founders. In others, it has evolved with the times. UNOW & Then has a rich story to tell.

UNOW students 1975

UNOW students Austin Frakt and Ben Hohmuth, circa 1975. Photo by Anonymous.

— Please help us by contributing your voice. 

Yankee Doodle Sit-in

Liz Hagen describes the sit-in at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room in 1970.

Read the news article (PDF)

'We will return' 

Woman sitting at table

NOW's Mrs. Elaine Showalter at the Nassau Inn Sit-on (1970) - Photo by Ed Pauly

UNOW's Teaching Philosophy

Dick and Jane Study

Liz Hagen, “We went to the grammar school in Lawrenceville on Craven Lane and we asked the head-master if he would lend us sets of readers that his staff were using at the time. And we took them away and studied them and we found it was like peeling an onion..."

See excerpts from the reader (PDF)


Weekly Tuition in 1970

Striking a Balance With Tuition

NOW's Interest in Childcare

Victory Chase, "Women wanted to go back to work and not every job was going to provide them with enough pin money, enough money to hire a full-time nanny and not every woman wanted to hire a full-time nanny."

What Made UNOW Unique For The Teachers

"... because we were all in it together."

UNOW Labor Relations

Liz Hagen speaks of tense labor relations between UNOW teachers and UNOW board in c1975.