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The First Women Students
How Women Fared
A New Home
College Life: 1910-1919
Targets of Humor
Women's Space
For Women Only
Rites of Passage
Black Women at Pitt
The Twelfth Floor
The War Years
Women in Sports
Coming Into the 70's


Until midtwentieth century, college women at Pitt participated in formal ceremonies to welcome freshman women and bid farewell to seniors. Three of the more elaborate rituals created by Dean Amos were Lantern Night, Senior Queen and Caritas..

Lantern Night, the candlelight ceremony for freshman orientation, the only ritual that survives, started at Pitt in 1920. Freshman women with lighted candles assembled to hear the wisdom of their elders. College administrators, especially deans of women, hoped "sensible" events, such as these, would take the place of wild and often dangerous hazing practices of college men.

Each Spring, senior women elected a Senior Queen based on character, personality, academic achievement, social qualities, and contributions as a leader to the life of the University of Pittsburgh.

The First Women | How Women Fared | A New Home | College Life | Targets of Humor | Women's Space | For Women Only
Rites of Passage | Black Women | The Twelfth Floor | The War Years | Women in Sports | Coming Into the 70's


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In the early years, Japanese paper lanterns were used for Lantern Night. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, they were replaced by metal lanterns.

The Senior Queen and her entourage on the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning. Gertrude Herron was the Senior Queen at this coronation, June 4, 1935.