1970s and 1980s
Chatham Course Catalogues detailing the origin of the Women's and Gender Studies program (then called the "Women's Studies" program) at Chatham University. The main focus noticeably shifted over the first decade of its formal establishment. The program initially focused on the biology of sexual dimorphism and the stereotypically feminine interests of dance and childcare, but evolved into an anthropological and historical study along with its ascension to a formal minor.
An article focusing on the Jennie King Mellon Library's growing collection of materials pertaining to women's studies, in the wake of Chatham's fledgling Women's Studies program. The shift from reinforcing traditional myths about gender to studying women's history, literature, politics and contributions to American culture is emphasized.
An editorial written by an anonymous contributor only known as "C.L.R." expressing dissatisfaction with the Women's Studies program, as well as the lack of on-campus attention to the International Women's Year in 1975. The absence of a women's awareness group, an on-campus gynecologist, and a branch of a women's political action group is noted, and the Women's Studies program is described as a "figure it out yourself" affair.
A documented interview with Chatham's 1978 commencement speaker, Nora Ephron, in which she details her experience as a columnist and former student of a women's college. She calls attention to the "Pollyannish" lack of actual intertia behind the goals of the woman's movement and speaks about her belief that women's colleges should work to actively undo the societal brainwashing of young women, not simply "provide a place for women to be removed from men for four years."
An announcement in which newsletters received by the Dean's Office are labeled as pertinent to the interests of the informal faculty group on the Women's Studies program. These newsletters include a study of postsecondary education devoted to the development of women faculty and a Washington-area women's studies newsletter, along with other related materials.
A report from then-Acting President Claire Guthrie (now Claire Guthrie Gastañaga) detailing a plan to reduce the size of Chatham College as a financial safeguard in response to a projected decrease in enrollments after its peak during the "baby boom" of the 1960's. Changes to Chatham's core curriculum are revealed, moving from a focus on "maintenance learning" to "anticipatory learning." New courses are also introduced, one of which is titled "Contemporary Perspectives on Gender Roles" and is meant to address Chatham's responsibility as a women's college to give its students the opportunity to consider and become educated about gender-related issues. For this course, the involvement of noteworthy outside speakers is planned.
A short-notice announcement from the Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowships concerning a research award opportunity. Among other subjects, both traditional and contemporary, submissions of women's and minotiries' studies projects are encouraged.
An announcement of the updated core curriculum for the Fall 1984 semester. These courses are interdisciplinary in order to represent a structured academic experience, and are required to be taken by all Chatham students. The core course "Contemporary Perspectives on Gender Roles," directed towards freshmen, is among the courses mentioned.
An article by Bobbie Dillon, assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, addressing nationwide concerns about the state of higher education and speaking about the updated Chatham core curriculum in response to the call for evolution. The nine-course program includes the freshman core of Concepts and Composition, Gender Roles, and Advanced Composition. It is meant to embrace the traditional as well as the contemporary.
An announcement about Dr. JoAnne Burley's selection by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council to be a participating scholar for Women's Studies programs, and her upcoming work as a discussion leader at Slippery Rock University and the Mt. Lebanon Public Library.
An article about Miriam King-Watts, the new dean of admissions and enrollment management who did graduate work in adult and women's studies at Missouri's Lindenwood College and taught life development and assertiveness courses for women. She reminisces on the importance of women's studies during the height of the women's movement in the 1970's, and asserts that places like Lindenwood and Chatham were on the cutting edge of that movement. She praises Chatham's diversity and innovative curriculum, and emphasizes her goal of helping Chatham stand out as an institution.
An announcement of the Women's Studies program's collaboration with Carlow College to celebrate Women's History Month. In its honor, the programs sponsor an exhibition of paintings and monotypes by Western Pennsylvania artist and professor Patricia Bellan-Gillen.
An announcement about Dr. JoAnne Burley's leadership of a Women's Studies literary program identified by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and sponsored by the Greater Pittsburgh Commission for Women. The discussion sessions, about 30 women strong, were held at the Carnegie Library.
A spotlight on Chatham alumnae in which Dr. Margaret V. Ragni, who graduated in 1971, is acknowledged by the Women's Studies program at Pitt for co-authoring the article "HIV Transmission to Female Sexual Partners of HIV Antibody-Positive Hemophiliacs."