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Chatham College Coeducation Debate Collection

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Records regarding women’s colleges and the prospect of coeducation

Coeducation Files of President Rebecca Stafford, 1989-1991

Supplementary coeducation records



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Chatham College Coeducation Debate Collection, 1890-1990 | Chatham University Archives

By Molly Tighe

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Collection Overview

Title: Chatham College Coeducation Debate Collection, 1890-1990Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1989-1990

ID: MSS/2016.001

Primary Creator: Chatham University

Extent: 1.9 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Series 1, Records regarding women’s colleges and the prospect of coeducation, 1890-1984, bulk 1967-1973

Series 2, Coeducation files of President Rebecca Stafford, 1989-1991

Series 3, Supplementary coeducation records, 1984-1991, bulk 1989-1990

Subjects: Chatham University, Coeducation, Pittsburgh Female College--Alumni and alumnae--History--Sources, Women's colleges—History, Women's colleges--United States—History—Sources, Women -- Pennsylvania – Pittsburgh, Women in education--Pennsylvania--History—Sources

Abstract

This artificial collection documents the process by which coeducation was proposed, researched, debated, and ultimately defeated in the late 1960s and in the early 1990s. The bulk of the records originate from the office of President Stafford.  Coeducation in graduate programs and move to coeducation in 2016 are not included in this collection.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection documents the first formal consideration of coeducation at Chatham in the late 1960s and provides a historical context for the reinauguration of the debate in 1990.

The reference materials contained in this collection, primarily newspaper, correspondence, and magazine clippings, pertain to both the coeducation debate at Chatham, as well as similar debates taking place at other women’s colleges nationally. Reports document the work of various taskforces and committees created to manage and research a range of issues pertinent to the debate.

There are also supplementary materials that pertain to the resurgence of the coeducation debate in 1990.  Coeducation in graduate programs and move to coeducation in 2016 are not included in this collection.

Collection Historical Note

In the late 1960s, Chatham College explored options to improve the enrollment and financial stability of the school, which included a discussion of opening admission to men. A series of committees were assembled to analyze the potential for coeducation at Chatham. Research focused mainly on contemporary national debates regarding the future of women’s colleges and the trend towards coeducation. A vote on November 6, 1970 ruled in favor of remaining strictly a women’s college. On February 12, 1990, the Board of Trustees voted to consider major changes to the college, including coeducation. The vote came after Vice-Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Committee on the Future of the College, Louise Brown, recommended to the Board that the Charter of the College be amended to offer the B.A. and B.S. degrees to both women and men beginning in the 1991-1992 academic year. The vote initiated widespread debate among faculty, students, and alumnae, who were formally petitioned to share their opinions through both correspondence and public forums. The response was overwhelmingly in favor of preserving Chatham’s status as a college for women. Rebecca Stafford, Chatham president since 1983, officially resigned on June 30, 1991.

Subject/Index Terms

Chatham University
Coeducation
Pittsburgh Female College--Alumni and alumnae--History--Sources
Women's colleges—History
Women's colleges--United States—History—Sources
Women -- Pennsylvania – Pittsburgh
Women in education--Pennsylvania--History—Sources

Administrative Information

Repository: Chatham University Archives

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Related Materials: The Board of Trustees meeting minutes from the 1990s provide more information about the internal debate about coeducation, in particular Folder 242 (Executive Committee, 1/04/1990-8/29/1990).  Also, a pamphlet on coeducation found in this collection is also accessible in the online issue of the Alumnae Recorder, Spring 1971, accessible here: For more information please see http://www.archive.org/details/alumnaerec19661976chat.

Preferred Citation: Chatham College Coeducation Debate Collection, 1890-1990, MSS.2016.001, Chatham University Archives & Special Collections


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Records regarding women’s colleges and the prospect of coeducation, 1890-1984, bulk 1967-1973],
[Series 2: Coeducation Files of President Rebecca Stafford, 1989-1991],
[Series 3: Supplementary coeducation records, 1984-1991, bulk 1989-1990],
[All]

Series 1: Records regarding women’s colleges and the prospect of coeducation, 1890-1984, bulk 1967-1973Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Study of the Future of Chatham and the Curriculum Revision, 1967-1970Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Study of the Future of Chatham and the Curriculum Revision – StatisticsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Women’s Education – CurriculumAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Future of the College Committee, November 1969-February 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Special Study Committee on the Education of Women, September 1972- March 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Policy Statement of the Board of TrusteesAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Chatham Publications, 1967 and 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Miscellaneous, 1890 and 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Publicity for Women’s Colleges, 1972-1984Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Records regarding women’s colleges and the prospect of coeducation, 1890-1984, bulk 1967-1973],
[Series 2: Coeducation Files of President Rebecca Stafford, 1989-1991],
[Series 3: Supplementary coeducation records, 1984-1991, bulk 1989-1990],
[All]


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