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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

A New Center for Women's Activities
When the 42-story Cathedral of Learning opened in 1937, it became the hub of the university. The offices of the Dean of Women moved to the twelfth floor of the Cathedral in 1938. The interior was unfinished but Dean Amos envisioned a dignified and beautiful space for women to meet. She said:

"The center of life for women must do far more than house personnel offices and activities for women. It must speak of what life for women within a great urban university can and should be. It must embody in its arrangement, its furnishings, and its decoration the ideas of gracious living. Women students must learn here at the university that academic learning is stark and bare without the social graces. In a university, that can be learned only through fine guidance and teaching in a social laboratory designed to speak through its beauty, and to teach, by its use, social refinements worthy of a cultivated university woman."

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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The Braun Room was used by the Dean of Women for meetings and teas. Mrs. A.E. Braun, along with her daughter and son- in-law, donated the furnishings and wood paneling in 1946.

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When Dean Amos died in 1941, the new quarters were still unfinished. The Alumnae Association created the Thyrsa W. Amos Fund to plaster the walls and to furnish Room 1217 in her name. Room 1217 was never finished, but after World War II the other rooms on the twelfth floor were completed.

Dean Helen Pool Rush and her successor, Dean Savina Skewis, carried on the traditions of Dean Amos until the Dean of Women's Office was closed in 1969, and its functions and quarters were assumed by other departments.

The memory of a space for women has almost disappeared.

Women Students serving tea with the "famous" silver tea service used by generations of Pitt women.
Photo c. 1955
Photos 1987 by Herb Ferguson