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Chatham University
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MottoFiliae Nostrae Sicut Antarii Lapides
Motto in EnglishThat our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace.
EstablishedDecember 11, 1869
Endowment$53.0 million[1]
PresidentEsther L. Barazzone
LocationPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus39 acres (16 ha)
Students2,300 (approx.)

Chatham University is an American university with a women's undergraduate college and coeducational graduate programs through the doctoral level, located in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The campus population of approximately 2,300 includes undergraduate women and graduate women and men. The University grants certificates and degrees including bachelor, master, first-professional, and doctorate. In 2005 the University expanded its programs to include online advanced degree programs (bachelors, masters, doctoral) through the School of Continuing Education, now the College for Continuing and Professional Studies.


Founded as the Pennsylvania Female College on December 11, 1869, by Reverend William Trimble Beatty, Chatham was initially situated in the Berry mansion on Woodland Road off Fifth Avenue in the neighborhood of Shadyside. The campus today is composed of buildings and grounds from a number of former private mansions, including those of Andrew Mellon, Edward Stanton Fickes, George M. Laughlin Jr. and James Rea. It was renamed Pennsylvania College for Women in 1890, and as Chatham College in 1955. The name served to honor William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham and namesake of the City of Pittsburgh. The school gained university status from the Pennsylvania Department of Education on April 23, 2007, and publicly announced its new status on 2007-05-01, changing its name to Chatham University.[2]

With elements designed for the original Andrew Mellon estate by the renowned Olmsted Brothers, the 39-acre (16 ha) Chatham campus was designated an arboretum in 1998 by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. It features over 115 different varieties of species, including Japanese Flowering Crabapple, River Birch and Kentucky Coffee Tree. The Arboretum provides an outdoor classroom for students in the University’s Landscape Architecture and Landscape Studies programs, as well as an inviting place to stroll and to meditate.

In 2007, Chatham's M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing was named one of the top five Innovative/Unique Programs by The Atlantic Monthly.[3]


The original Shadyside Campus is part of historic Woodland Road. The Shadyside Campus now includes Chatham Eastside,[4] which serves as the home for health science and architecture programs.

The University’s new 388-acre (157 ha) Eden Hall Campus is located north of the city in Richland Township, Pa. and will be the home of Chatham’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment. Programs at Eden Hall Campus include initiatives in sustainability and environmental studies, food studies, landscape architecture, and women’s studies. The Eden Hall Campus was donated to Chatham University by the Eden Hall Foundation on May 1, 2008. Currently the architectural team of Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell (BNIM) of Kansas City, Mo., which is partnering with landscape design firm Andropogon Associates of Philadelphia to lead the master planning process.


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Chatham University grounds

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Campus labyrinth

The University structure includes three distinctive Colleges: Chatham College for Women houses academic and co-curricular programs for undergraduate women and embodies the traditions and rituals of the traditional women's college. The College for Graduate Studies offers women and men both masters and doctoral programs. Programs within the College for Graduate Studies include concentrations in art and architecture, business, health sciences, teaching and creative writing. The College for Continuing and Professional Studies, formerly the School of Continuing Education, provides online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate degree programs for women and men, certificate programs, and community programming including the Summer Music and Arts Day Camp.

School of Sustainability and the Environment

The School of Sustainability and the Environment, founded June 2009, further expands the potential of the Eden Hall Campus and honors the legacy of its 1929 alumna and founder of the modern environmental movement, Rachel Carson. SSE will provide opportunities for the University’s students to earn certificates and degrees through the master’s level. The first program offered through SSE is the Master of Arts in Food Studies, which enrolled 30 students in its inaugural year. SSE will eventually be located at the University's Eden Hall Campus.

In fall 2010 the University selected David M. Hassenzahl, Ph.D. as the founding Dean of the School of Sustainability and the Environment. Dr. Hassenzahl is the coauthor of several books, including Should We Risk It? (Princeton University Press) with Daniel M. Kammen; Environment (J. Wiley and Sons), with Peter Raven and Linda Berg, and, most recently, Visualizing Environmental Science (J. Wiley and Sons), with Linda Berg and Mary Catherine Hager.


Chatham University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267) 284-5000.

Likewise, several degree programs are accredited by external accrediting bodies:

  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (MOT)
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (MPAS)
  • American Chemical Society (Undergraduate Chemistry)
  • American Physical Therapy Association (DPT)
  • Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education (RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP)
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (DPT)
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation (MIA)
  • Council on Social Work Education (BSW)
  • Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (MLA)
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education Teacher Certification Program (MAT)

Mission statement

Chatham University prepares its students, bachelors through doctoral level, on campus and around the world, to excel in their professions and to be engaged, environmentally responsible, globally conscious, lifelong learners, and citizen leaders for democracy. The women’s undergraduate program offers superb career preparation informed by the liberal arts; other entities within the University provide men and women with undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education of the highest quality with primary emphasis on preparation for work and the professions.

Public recognition

  • Institution of Distinction, Association of American Colleges and Universities (2002)
  • Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education: Internationalizing the Campus, presented by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (2003)
  • A “Best College in the Mid-Atlantic” and “Best College in the Northeast,” Princeton Review
  • Kaplan’s Guide to the 328 Most Interesting Colleges and Universities
  • Member of the United Nations Academic Impact

Outreach centers

International collaborations

  • Kobe Women’s College (Japan)
  • Doshisha Women’s University (Japan)
  • Kyoto Women’s College (Japan)
  • The American University (Rome)
  • Seoul Women’s University (Korea)
  • Centre International des études françaises (Angers, France)
  • Institute of Central American Development Studies (Costa Rica)
  • The Center for Cross-Cultural Study – study abroad programs in Spain and Argentina


Chatham University teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Cougars are a member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC). Women's sports include basketball, cross country, ice hockey, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

Notable alumni

Among Chatham's notable alumnae is biologist and zoologist Rachel Carson (1929), after whom the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham is named. The RCI, as it is known, promotes understanding of environmental issues through conferences, lectures, discussion panels, and other methods. In honor of Rachel Carson's legacy, the University President, Esther L. Barazzone, Ph.D. and others led a campaign to rename the Ninth Street Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh as the Rachel Carson Bridge. The naming resolution was passed by Allegheny County Council on December 6, 2005. The Rachel Carson Bridge is one of the "Three Sisters" Bridges, opened between 1926 and 1928, and designed by County architect Stanley L. Roush and the Allegheny County Department of Public Works. The Roberto Clemente Bridge (formerly Sixth Street Bridge) and the Andy Warhol Bridge (formerly Seventh Street Bridge) complete the trio of bridges. They are the only trio of nearly identical bridges and were the first self-anchored suspension spans built in the United States. They are among the only surviving examples of large eyebar-chain suspension bridges in the country.

Other notable alumnae include:

  • Kathie L. Olsen ’74, Ph.D., past deputy director, National Science Foundation
  • Elaine Scarry Ph.D. ’68, author and Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University
  • Lea Wait ’68, author of mystery novels, and children's books
  • Lesley Brooks Wells ’59, United States District Judge

Points of interest

  • Chatham College Arboretum


  1. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  2. Grant, Tim (2007-05-01). "Chatham gains university status". Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  3. Delaney, Edward J. (2007). "The Best of the Best". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
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External links

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