Chatham College Coeducation Debate Collection 1890 - 1990

Chatham University

Summary Information

Repository
Chatham University
Title
Chatham College Coeducation Debate Collection
Creator
Chatham University.
Collection Number
MSS.2016.001
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1989-1990
Date [inclusive]
1890-1990
Extent
1.9 linear feet
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.

Preferred Citation:

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

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Administrative History:

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.

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Scope and Contents

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.

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Arrangement of Materials:

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

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Chatham University, November 2018

Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA, 15232
412-365-1212
jkmref@chatham.edu

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

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Related Materials

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: https://archive.org/details/alumnaerec19661976chat/page/n451

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Chatham University.

Subject(s)

  • Coeducation
  • Women -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Women's colleges -- History
  • Women's colleges -- United States -- History -- Sources

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Records regarding women’s colleges and the prospect of coeducation, 1890-1984  (Bulk, 1967-1973)

  BoxFolder
Study of the Future of Chatham and the Curriculum Revision 1967-1970 11
  BoxFolder
Study of the Future of Chatham and the Curriculum Revision – Statistics 12
  BoxFolder
Women’s Education – Curriculum 13
  BoxFolder
Future of the College Committee November 1969-February 1971 14
  BoxFolder
Special Study Committee on the Education of Women September 1972- March 1973 15
  BoxFolder
Policy Statement of the Board of Trustees 16
  BoxFolder
Chatham Publications 1967 and 1975 17
  BoxFolder
Miscellaneous 1890 and 1977 18
  BoxFolder
Publicity for Women’s Colleges 1972-1984 19

Series  II. Coeducation Files of President Rebecca Stafford 1989-1991 

  BoxFolder
Alumnae Reponses I 21
  BoxFolder
Alumnae Responses II 22
  BoxFolder
Alumnae Responses II [duplicate] 23
  BoxFolder
Senior Staff Vision Ideas 24
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Vision & Curriculum Task Force 25
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Admissions & Marketing Task Force 26
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Mailing Addresses of Task Force Members 27
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Co-Curricular (College Programs) Task Force 28
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Co-Curricular Task Force Subcommittee: Athletics and Fitness 29
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Faculty Workshop 210
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Finance & Facilities Task Force 211
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Fundraising Task Force 212
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Fundraising Tasking Force Subcommittee: Corporate Foundations 213
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Public Affairs Task Force 214
  BoxFolder
Co-Ed: Public Relations Task Force 215
  BoxFolder
Ada Brandegee 216
  BoxFolder
Fundraising Task Force Subcommittee: Individual Giving 217
  BoxFolder
Dick Chait 218
  BoxFolder
Alumnae Workshop 1990 219
  BoxFolder
Board & Coeducation 220
  BoxFolder
Chatham Coalition 221
  BoxFolder
Chatham Women’s Coalition 222
  BoxFolder
Consultants Interviewed 223
  BoxFolder
Faculty & Staff Correspondence 224
  BoxFolder
Mailings 225
  BoxFolder
Karen White’s Tutorial on Coeducation Draft. Dr. Stafford: Tutor 226
  BoxFolder
Alumnae Correspondence 227
  BoxFolder
Coeducation Confidential 228
  BoxFolder
Woman’s College Coalition 229
  BoxFolder
Student Correspondence 230
  BoxFolder
Susan S. Co-Ed Letters 231
  BoxFolder
Other Women’s Colleges 232
  BoxFolder
Dr. Stafford’s Speeches & Remarks 233
  BoxFolder
Travel 234
  BoxFolder
Strategic Vision Maps 235
  BoxFolder
Outreach Committee 236
  BoxFolder
Trustees Correspondence 237
  BoxFolder
Publicity, Clippings, News Releases 238

Series  III. Supplementary coeducation records, 1984-1991  (Bulk, 1989-1990)

  BoxFolder
Non-Alumnae Correspondence 1987 31
  BoxFolder
Alumnae Correspondence 1990 32
  BoxFolder
Chatham Women’s Coalition Correspondence 1990 33
  BoxFolder
Gateway Correspondence 1990 34
  BoxFolder
Chatham Student Government 1990 35
  BoxFolder
Forum and Meeting Announcements 1990 36
  BoxFolder
Taskforce Materials 1990 37
  BoxFolder
Stafford Resignation June 30, 1991 38
  BoxFolder
New York Alumnae Club 1990-1991 39
  BoxFolder
Stafford’s Speeches and Report to Trustees 1984-1990 310
  BoxFolder
Reserve: Co-Ed – Board of Trustees/Chatham Info 1989-1990 311
  BoxFolder
Reserve: Co-Ed – Women’s Colleges 1989-1990 312
  BoxFolder
Reserve: Co-Ed – Women’s College Coalition 1989-1990 313
  BoxFolder
Reserve: Co-Ed – President Stafford 1989-1990 314
  BoxFolder
News Clippings 315
  BoxFolder
Miscellaneous 1986-1991 316