Chatham University in Pittsburgh
Chatham University is an esteemed private educational institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Originally established as a women’s college, it opened its doors to male students in undergraduate programs in 2015. The university houses about 2,300 students, offering a broad range of programs in different faculties.
Introduction to Chatham University
Despite its humble beginnings as a women’s college, it evolved to become a co-educational institution in 2015. The university accommodates approximately 2,300 students, including 1,002 undergraduates and 1,108 graduates. It provides a variety of programs in the School of Arts, Science & Business, the School of Health Sciences, and the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment.
A Glance at History
The university’s journey began on December 11, 1869, when it was founded as the Pennsylvania Female College by Reverend William Trimble Beatty. The institution initially operated from the Berry mansion on Woodland Road off Fifth Avenue in the neighborhood of Shadyside.
The institution changed its name to Pennsylvania College for Women in 1890 and later, to Chatham College in 1955. The name was chosen to honor William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, after whom the city of Pittsburgh is named. Chatham College gained university status from the Pennsylvania Department of Education on April 23, 2007.
The Shadyside Campus
The Shadyside Campus, originally the Andrew Mellon estate, was designated an arboretum in 1998 by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. The 39-acre campus consists of buildings and grounds from several former private mansions.
In 2005, Chatham University extended its academic offerings to include online advanced degree programs through the School of Continuing Education. In 2007, The Atlantic Monthly recognized Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing program as one of the top five Innovative/Unique Programs.
Transition to Co-education
The university made headlines in 2014 when it announced its consideration to start admitting men for the first time in its history. This decision was met with mixed reactions. However, male undergraduate students began attending Chatham University in 2015.
In addition to the original Shadyside Campus, the university also includes the Chatham Eastside building, which serves as the home for the health science and interior architecture programs.
Chatham’s new 388-acre Eden Hall Campus is located north of Pittsburgh in Richland Township, Pennsylvania, and is home to Chatham’s Falk School of Sustainability & Environment.
Chatham University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Known as the Cougars, Chatham University’s teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III. The university offers both Men’s and Women’s varsity teams in various sports.
Chatham University boasts of many notable alumni, including:
Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, D.C.
Rachel Carson, biologist and zoologist
Catherine Chisholm Cushing, playwright
Elaine Scarry, author and professor at Harvard University
With its rich history, diverse academic programs, and commitment to sustainability, Chatham University continues to be a prominent educational institution in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.