Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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'The imaginary line': Recalling when Bishop Egan High was coed

Last month, Conwell-Egan was saved from closing. But in 1966, the original Bishop Egan women lost a part of their identity when the boys left for a new school and took the school's name with them.

'The imaginary line': Recalling when Bishop Egan High was coed


As students, faculty, and parents waited anxiously in the gym at Conwell-Egan High School last month to learn the fate of their school, alumni talked proudly of its heritage.

Women recalled the all-girls Bishop Conwell High School in Levittown. Men remembered the all-boys Bishop Egan High School in Fairless Hills.

And Cass Loveless, Class of 1961, boasted about an earlier, forgotten time, when Bishop Egan opened as the first Catholic high school in lower Bucks County, with 605 boys and girls taking classes, eating lunch, and going to dances together.

"A lot of alumni don't know that girls went to Bishop Egan," Loveless said. "Anyone younger than 50 tells us, 'You didn't go to Egan, you went to Conwell.' "

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Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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