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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

Shortly after World War I, women students at Pitt petitioned Chancellor McCormick to hire a dean of women to meet the standards of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, forerunner of the American Association of University Women. College women in coed schools across the country demanded a dean to look after their interest.

Supervision of the growing number of women students became such a heavy burden for the administration that in 1919 Chancellor McCormick eagerly recruited Pitt's first Dean of Women, Thyrsa Wealhtheow Amos, from the Psychology Department at the University of Kansas. Under Dean Amos's watchful eye, women's organizations flourished and provided countless opportunities to acquire leadership training, social graces, and domestic skills. Dean Amos set a high moral tone for Pitt women that lasted well beyond her tenure. The command center for the Dean of Women was a small bungalow called Heinz House.

Only two other women held this office. After Dean Amos's death in 1941, Dean Helen Pool Rush (1942-1965) and Dean Savina Skewis (1965-1969) carried out the traditions of Dean Amos until the Dean of Women's Office closed in 1969. Other offices assumed the administrative responsibilities of the Dean of Women.

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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Thyrsa Wealhtheow Amos,
Dean of Women 1919-1941.

2003 University of Pittsburgh Office of the Provost

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Thyrsa Wealtheow Amos,  Dean of Women 1919-41
Dean of Women: Advocate, Counselor, Protector
"The Office of the Dean of Women is the center of our extra curricular life. Whether our problem is renting a room, getting a job, securing student aid, mending a stocking, or pressing a dress, the Dean and her assistants are always ready to help us. If you have something to discuss with one of the staff and prefer not to wait, it is best to make an appointment and remember that promptness is the mark of a lady."
From Vade Mecum, 1942, the handbook for women students.
Dean Amos at her desk
Helen Pool Rush, Assistant Dean 1920-41
Dean Amos at her desk in Heinz House, c. 1925.
Helen Pool Rush, Assistant Dean 1920-1941, succeded Dean Amos in 1942. Rush, later promoted to Dean of Students and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, retired in 1967.