Chatham: The History of Our Name (Part II)


Have you ever wonder how Chatham got its name or why it was changed from Pennsylvania College for Women?  If so, you might want to check out the article on the topic in latest Library Newsletter <click here>, which tells the tale of how the school came to cosider a name change, the various names considered, and the reception of the name at the time.

You’ll also want to take a gander at the images collected below.  These selections from the collections of the University Archives illustrate how the school spread the word on the new name and all the events that surrounded this pivotal moment in university history.


PCW officials chose to name the college after Lord Chatham in recognition of his passion for education and democratic ideals.


On November 5, 1955, the school newspaper led with a bold headline announcing the name change from Pennsylvania College for Women to Chatham College.


David Lawrence, then-mayor of Pittsburgh, stands with Jane Stocker Burfoot from Chatham College’s Class of 1957. Together they are celebrating PCW having changed its name to Chatham College.


Students commemorate the name change by holding a Chatham College banner over the institution’s former PCW-marked entryway.


The school produced this small brochure to promote awareness of the new name.  The image above is the front cover.


The brochure outlines the reasons for the name change and the reason for the selection of the name Chatham.


The brochure closes with an expression of Chatham’s continuing dedication to providing quality education.


A mailing card distributed to alumni around the time the college changed its name.


The front cover of the dedication dinner program, which took place two weeks after PCW changed its name to Chatham College.

…And just the day before, former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower commended President Anderson and the Chatham community on the college’s huge accomplishment!


We’ve got room for just one more picture…


This booklet was distributed to the Chatham community and alumni shortly after the institution changed its name. It contains personal remarks from then-President Paul Anderson, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees George Lockhart, and Chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development Arthur Van Buskirk on the role of the school in the intellectual and cultural life of the region.

Hungry for more history?  Come see us during University Archives Office Hours on Mondays from 1:00 – 5:00 and Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:30 or by appointment.  We’d love to share with you more about the name change to Chatham or any other aspect of university history you’re curious about!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar