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Chatham University Commencement Programs

Identifier: 2018.007

Scope and Contents

This collection contains documentation of commencement exercises held at Chatham University between 1870 and the present, including both undergraduate and graduate degree conferral ceremonies.  The collection primarily contains printed event programs listing event speakers, musical performances, and other elements of the commencement ceremony.  Event programs list names and degrees conferred to graduating students attending the ceremony as well as honorary degrees conferred during the event.  The collection also includes some newspaper clippings about, photographs and slides depicting, tickets to, and printed email communications about commencement ceremony events.


  • created: 1870-2018


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access.  The records are open for research use.

Biographical or Historical Information

Chartered on December 11, 1869 by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, the Pennsylvania Female College was initiated by Reverend William Trimble Beatty and several members of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church with the intention of providing “for young ladies what colleges of the first class accomplish for young men.” The campus was situated in the affluent Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a building that held the previous distinction of being the largest private residence in Allegheny County.  A Board of Trustees which included Rev. Beatty and several members of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, led the selection of college administrators and the development of college curriculum aiming to “furnish [students] the means of a thorough, well-proportioned and liberal education adapted to their wants in life.” In 1890 the name of the institution was changed to Pennsylvania College for Women, and in 1955 the name was changed again to Chatham College in honor of William Pitt, First Earl of Chatham and namesake of the City of Pittsburgh. In 1994, Chatham College expanded around its historic undergraduate women’s college by beginning to offer graduate programs to both men and women with a special emphasis in the health science fields.  University status was granted in 2007 and the institution is thereafter named Chatham University.  Additional campus locations, including one in the East Liberty neighborhood called East Side and one in Gibsonia called Eden Hall Farm, were added in 2008. In 2014, Chatham University’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution to implement coeducation within all colleges and schools while creating structures and programs that preserve the University’s commitment to women’s education and leadership.

Note written by Molly Tighe


3.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Chartered in 1869, Chatham University (formerly Pennsylvania Female College, Pennsylvania College for Women, and Chatham College) is a fully coeducation insitution of higher education located in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  The Commencemetn Collection documents commencement excercises from 1870 to the present.  The collection primarily includes event programs, photographs, ephemera produced by Chatham University for the event.

Arrangement Note

Records are arranged chronologically by date.  Where appropriate, folders divide materials relating to graduate commencement ceremonies from materials relating to undergraduate commencement ceremonies.

Related Materials

Chatham University Marketing & Communications Department Records Chatham University Historical Film Collection

Archon Finding Aid Title
Molly Tighe
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Chatham University Archives Repository

Woodland Road
Pittsburgh PA 15232 US