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.