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Series IV. History of College Women in Pittsburgh Research File, Bulk, 1986-1988 1970-1999

Scope and Content Notes:

Series IV contains materials related to Schumacher’s research about women’s college experiences in the early twentieth century in Pittsburgh. This series is arranged in four subseries: Women’s History in Pittsburgh, Oral History Project, Oral History Project Participant Files, and Oral History Project Cassette Tapes.

Subseries 1. Women’s History in Pittsburgh, 1970-1999

Scope and Content Notes:

The Women’s History subseries includes research materials related to women’s suffrage of the 1910s, the women’s liberation of the 1960s and 1970s, and women’s educational opportunities then and now.

Folder 110 “Admission and Attrition of Women in Graduate School” by Elizabeth Urey Baranger, 1976
Folder 111 Bibliographies on Women, 1973-1974
Folder 112 Christmas Cards, National Organization for Women (N.O.W.), undated
Folder 113 Executive Women’s Council, Status of Women in Pittsburgh, 1999
Folder 114 Feminist Historians, 1974-1975
Folder 115 History of Women at Pitt: Reflections of a Changing Society, 1987
Folder 116 Notes on the Second Year: Women’s Liberation, 1970
Folder 117 Powerful Women in Pittsburgh, 1995
Folder 118 Sharon Johnson Trial vs. University of Pittsburgh, 1973
Folder 119 The Suffrage Cookbook from 1915(copy), undated
Folder 120 University of Pittsburgh Department of History Women’s Caucus, 1971-1974
Folder 121 Women’s Suffrage 1912-1917 Research, 1995-1996

Subseries 2. Oral History Project, 1987-1988

Scope and Content Notes:

The Oral History Project subseries contains contracts, correspondence, lists, notes, and questionnaires related to oral history interviews with Pittsburgh women from Schumacher’s project, “The History of Higher Education for Women in Pittsburgh: Reflections of a Changing Society.”

Folder 122 Contract for Graduate Students, undated
Folder 123 Interview List, 1987-1988
Folder 124 Letter of Introduction, undated
Folder 125 Oral History Data Sheet, undated
Folder 126 Oral History Interviews List of Candidates, undated
Folder 127 Questionnaires, 1988
Folder 128 Release Forms, 1988
Folder 129 Thank You Letter for Oral Interviews, undated
Folder 130 Marcia Frumerman, interviewer, 1987
Folder 131 Oral History Manual, Bibliogrphy, and Notes prepared by Wendell Wray, November, 1987
Folder 132 Oral History Resources, undated

Subseries 3. Oral History Project Participant Files, 1985-1988

Scope and Content Notes:

The Oral History Project Participant Files subseries contains materials related to individual oral history interviews with Pittsburgh women from Schumacher’s project, “The History of Higher Education for Women in Pittsburgh: Reflections of a Changing Society.”


Box 5
Folder 1 Agnes Starrett, 1986-1988
Folder 2 Alice Donaldson, 1987
Folder 3 Ann McCandless, 1988
Folder 4 Barbara F. Moran, 1987
Folder 5 Caroline Sutton, 1988
Folder 6 Catherine Metz, 1988
Folder 7 Cecilia Schmidt Francis, 1988
Folder 8 Christine Greco, 1988
Folder 9 Elizabeth Kimberley, 1988
Folder 10 Elizabeth McDonald, 1988
Folder 11 Florence Marcus, undated
Folder 12 Frances Holland, 1987-1988
Folder 13 Genevieve Blatt, 1987
Folder 14 Helen Hackett, 1988
Folder 15 Helen Pool Rush, 1985-1988
Folder 16 Helen Sawyer, 1988
Folder 17 Irene Pasinski, 1988
Folder 18 Janet M Flinn, 1988
Folder 19 Jean Bray, 1988
Folder 20 Lillian Brest, 1987-1988
Folder 21 Margaret Couvert, undated
Folder 22 Martha Rosen, undated
Folder 23 Mary Cole, 1988
Folder 24 Nancy Lee, 1986
Folder 25 Peggy Donaldson, 1987
Folder 26 Rachel Donaldson, 1988
Folder 27 Savina Skewis, 1984-1987
Folder 28 Sunny Pickering, 1988
Folder 29 Thelma Nelson Wofford, 1987-1988
Folder 30 Vee Toner, 1987
Folder 31 Viola Grove Patterson and Adelaide Grove McKinney, 1986
Folder 31a Lynn Davidman
Folder 31b Mary Greenwald

Subseries 4. Oral History Project: Cassette Tapes, 1986-1988

Scope and Content Notes:

The Oral History Project: Cassette Tapes subseries contains recordings of the oral history interviews, in addition to interviews with Schumacher for local radio stations.


Box 6
Cassette 1-2 Genevieve Blatt, November 19, 1987

Genevieve Blatt (1913-1996) was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximated 90 minutes. Blatt discussed early family life and business, her parochial education at St. Francis DeSales Catholic School in McKees Rocks and Sacred Heart in Pittsburgh. Blatt graduated from the University of Pittsburgh where she received a scholarship, she discusses her experience at Pitt and discusses Chancellor Bowman and Dean Thyrsa Amos, the debating team, and Women’s Athletic Association. Later, she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Law School and would become a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas and later a Commonwealth Judge. She discusses her campaigns and dealings with Judge Michael Mussmanno.

Cassette 3 Anna Loomis McCandless, June 30, 1988

Anna Loomis McCandless (1897-1996) was interviewed for approximately 63 minutes discussing her family and education. McCandless graduated from Carnegie Tech's Margaret Morrison School for Women in 1919, having taken secretarial courses, served as her Junior Class President, and participated in the school’s activities to support the war effort. McCandless comically discusses stories concerning her mother’s comments on Margaret Sanger’s visit to Pittsburgh and McCandless’s 1929 trip to Russia. Annette Baier was interviewed about her chosen career path for approximately 90 minutes. Baier, a philosophy professor at the University of Pittsburgh, was born in New Zealand and speaks of the cultural differences which have shaped her educational experience growing up and after she moved to the United States. Speaks about the benefits of being a woman in her field in addition to some of the challenges created by traditional female expectations.

Cassette 4 Annette Baier, November 16, 1987

Annette Baier was interviewed about her chosen career path for approximately 90 minutes. Baier, a philosophy professor at the University of Pittsburgh, was born in New Zealand and speaks of the cultural differences which have shaped her educational experience growing up and after she moved to the United States. Speaks about the benefits of being a woman in her field in addition to some of the challenges created by traditional female expectations.

Cassette 5 Bess Kimberly, June 10, 1988

Bess Kimberly was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 80 minutes. Kimberly discussed her early education years, family, work at Horne’s Department Store, and profession as a teacher in rural and cosmopolitan settings, including teaching Americanization courses in a Steel Mill town. Kimberly attended Kent College but transferred and graduated from Carnegie Tech (Margaret Morrison) in 1928 with a degree in Drama in order to teach costume design, which she taught for forty years.

Cassette 6-7 Christine E. Greco, April 28; May 7, 1988

Christine Greco was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 180 minutes. Greco discussed early family life, business, and her early education at the Dennison School (Swissvale), Wilkins School, and Swissvale High School in Pittsburgh. Greco attended the University of Pittsburgh where she received a partial scholarship and majored in German with minors in English, Italian, and Latin aiming of teaching German. Greco speaks of her “startling experience” with a sex education class taught by Dr. Jameson during her time at Pitt. She also notes the changing expectations in the way women dressed during the time and speaks about the limited job market caused by the depression and both World Wars. Greco recalled her first full time job at Gimbels and attending the School of Retailing, paid for by Gimbels.

Cassette 8 Elizabeth McDonald, April 20, 1988

Elizabeth McDonald was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 90 minutes. McDonald discussed her early life living in Pittsburgh, including memories about bootlegging in her neighborhood. McDonald recalled family life and her education at the Conroy School (Kindergarten- 8th Grade) and graduation from Allegheny High School in 1926. Although her father did not support her decision, McDonald continued her education with the Frick Training School, graduated second in her class in 1929, and found a job quickly in teaching. McDonald taught at Cowley, Manchester, Lemington, and Linton before becoming a supervisor and then a principle while also teaching veterans in the evening.

Cassette 9 Florence Marcus, June 1986

Florence Marcus was interviewed for approximately 47 minutes about her career path and experiences. Marcus graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1929 and pursued practicing medicine. Marcus reflects on the difficulty of being hired as a Jewish female. Originally became a nurse and worked for ten years, but decided to go to medical school. Marcus recalled her male classmates’ fondness toward her due to her previous experiences as a nurse and her success in class work. Marcus first worked at Montefiore, then Shadyside Hospital, and finally opened a family practice in 1930. Due to the depression, Marcus was not receiving many payments for her visits, so she got a job with another doctor examining school children in Pittsburgh; following this experience she attended Harvard’s School of Public Health in 1949. Finally, she worked as a general practitioner for social work cases at St. Francis Hospital.

Cassette 10-11 Frances Holland, November 18 and 27, 1987

Fran Holland was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 45 minutes about her life and career experiences. In 1968, Holland became the first Dean of Students for La Roche College and began attracting mature young women from 20-40 years old who had children and wanted to go back to school. A year later, President Blum of Point Park College hired her as the Director of Development where Holland raised funds to build the new library. She then became the Director of Admissions and later the Director of College and Community Relations. Holland proudly discussed her volunteerism including working with the Girl Scouts and being the President of the Allegheny County Scholarship Association, and the Civil Service Commission. Holland recalls memories of Thrysa Amos whom she met at the age of 11 and continued to work with closely until Amos’s death in 1941.

Cassette 12-13 Helen Hackett, November 7 and 11, 1988

Helen Hackett was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 133 minutes concerning her early education, family, and college experiences. Hackett recalls growing up in Brushton and moving to Wilkinsburg for high school. Hackett took secretarial courses at Margaret Morrison (Carnegie Tech), married in 1930, and her daughter was born in 1933. Hackett worked as dean of women at Carnegie Tech/ Margaret Morrison for two years, and then took a job at the Carnegie Library. Hackett speaks of the changing religious expectations of women during the period in addition to her life experiences.

Cassette 14-16 Helen Poole Rush, October 30; November 11, 1985

Hellen Poole Rush was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 180 minutes concerning her education, work, and life experiences. Rush entered the University of Pittsburgh in 1915 and recalled memories of people she attended school with and later, recollections of students who attended Pitt while she was working there. Rush discussed the expectations for freshmen students to transform from boys and girls to young women and men during their first semester. She discusses Lantern night as essential in this transformation for women, and explains the mythology and ceremony associated with it. Additionally, Rush discusses the Senior Queen Ceremony and the Caritas Ceremony as important to the development of young women during their college years. Rush goes on to discuss the philosophical evolution of the department of the Dean of Women at the University of Pittsburgh.

Cassette 17 Helen Sawyer, May 27, 1988

Helen Sawyer was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 90 minutes concerning her life educational experiences. Sawyer received her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Pittsburgh (1934) and her Master of Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She reflects on people she knew, organizations, and rules imposed on women by administration but especially by themselves. Sawyer became the first female gym teacher at Etna High School. After getting married (1938) and having children, Sawyer began teaching again.

Cassette 18 Irene Pasinski, April 25, 1988

Irene Pasinski was interviewed for approximately 70 minutes by Carolyn Schumacher. Pasinski discussed her Polish immigrant parents, early education, and family structure. Pasinski’s father worked Polish Consulate in Pittsburgh until 1941 when the Polish government fell. She reflects upon the differences between educational understanding in the United States and in Europe and how that could have affected her educational experience. Pasinski attended Schenley High School and went to Carnegie Mellon to pursue a degree in industrial design with a minor in painting. She recalls her extra-curricular experiences in Chi Omega recruiting other members. Five years after graduation, Pasinski received a Fulbright Scholarship to study and teach in France; she and her husband stayed in Europe until they divorced. Pasinski speaks about Polish immigrant groups and the determination to break the Slavic stereotype.

Cassette 19 Janet MacDonald Flinn, June 29, 1988

Janet MacDonald Flinn was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 90 minutes. Flinn recalls her family life, early education, and career choices. She attended the University of Pittsburgh where, in 1917, she won a school medal for the debating team, became one of the first female mortar board students, and graduated in 1918. She taught English in the Irwin School District, and then taught at the Thurston School. Flinn married in 1920 and shares her thoughts about being a woman during the time period.

Cassette 20 Jean Phipps Bray, May 24, 1988

Jean Phipps Bray was interviewed for approximately 80 minutes concerning her family life, early education, and experience as a woman in education. Bray attended Winchester-Thurston Girls Preparatory School and graduated in 1939, and attended a Junior College in Washington DC before attempting to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh. After the University of Pittsburgh refused to accept Junior College credit, she became interested in Carnegie Mellon University in 1941. Speaks about her experiences at Carnegie Mellon and reflects upon her education and career.


Box 7
Cassette 1-2 Lillian Brest, December 18, 1987; January 6, 1988

Lillian Brest was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 120 minutes. Brest shares information about her Jewish family, including Lithuanian parents who immigrated to the United States. Brest attended Chelsea High School and participated as a member of the debate society and in theater. She then went to Simmons College to study Social Service Work, because she liked the idea of having a year of practicum before graduation in 1922. Afterward, she felt she was not ‘tough enough’ for a career in Social Service, and regretted some of her choices. Brest discusses married life and children on their Norfolk, Massachusetts farm during the depression.

Cassette 3 Mary Ann Aug, 1987

Mary Ann Aug discussed her career path in an interview with Monique Savits for approximately 40 minutes. As an undergraduate, Aug took courses in English literature, writing, journalism, public relations, and publications writing, but decided to stick to Public Relations writing because of the topical flexibility. Aug became the Director of University Relations at the University of Pittsburgh and discusses the job in depth. Additionally, she spoke about the differences between women and men within the University, the professional field, and mentions examples of sexual discrimination she has faced.

Cassette 4 Mary Briscoe, undated

Mary Briscoe was interviewed for approximately 50 minutes by Linda J. Beater concerning her career path and professional choices. Briscoe is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for the University of Pittsburgh working to assist in undergraduate advising and programming. Briscoe described her job obligations and the differences between women and men in her field and at the University.

Cassette 5-6 Mary Cole, March 30; April 13, 1988

Mary Cole was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 60 minutes. Cole attended elementary and high school in Butler, PA. Education was important to Cole’s mother, who was a teacher, and Cole chose to attend Chatham College after she received a half scholarship. At Chatham, Cole majored in science and worked with the National Youth Administration, making $0.50 an hour. Following graduation, Cole taught in her High School, but then decided to enroll in the Army. She graduated from Officer Candidate School on October 3, 1942, becoming only the thirteenth woman from Pittsburgh to achieve the feat. Cole spoke about the excitement and adventure provided by her experiences in the Army, the opportunity to go to the University of Pittsburgh for graduate school through the GI Bill, flying lessons, and about her perception of discrimination against women.

Cassette 7 Maureen Greenwald, December 8, 1986

Maureen Greenwald was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 45 minutes concerning her involvement in and development of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Greenwald discussed the difficulties of creating and editing the program, while still building a strong base during development. She spoke of the changes experienced by the Women’s Studies Program and its goals since its inception.

Cassette 8 Opening the Gallery, Dr. Posvar & Goldie, undated

This tape documenting the gallery opening for the exhibit, “The History of Women at Pitt: Reflections on a Changing Society” and runs approximately 55 minutes. The majority of the tape is conversations happening in the gallery; some people discuss the exhibit, while others speak of their experience as females at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Carolyn Schumacher addressed those in attendance to thank the committee which developed the exhibit and the production team. Monique Simms spoke about female achievement at the University of Pittsburgh.

Cassette 9 Peg Covert, December 22, 1986

Peg Covert was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 65 minutes about her career path and chosen field. Covert began working at the University of Pittsburgh in 1946 as an assistant professor, in the Cathedral of Learning. She spoke fondly of her experiences teaching athletics, including field hockey and the inception of cheerleading at the University. Covert pronounced the importance of physical education for women during the time period and today.

Cassette 10 Rachel Donaldson, June 7, 1988

Rachael Donaldson was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 90 minutes. Donaldson discussed her family, lack of money, and early education. Originally, she attended Indiana State College, but transferred to Chatham where she studied Latin and French, joined a language club, and graduated in 1936. After graduation, Donaldson worked at the Junior High School in Moon Run teaching social studies and English, and then she moved to Coraopolis to teach Latin and French. Donaldson then received at job working at the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Office, and decided to pursue a Masters of Education degree. Donaldson joined the Waves and was sent to Newport and Boston Navy Yards where she attended Court Marshal cases and taught Naval Law. Following the war, she moved to Aspinwall, married in 1947, and started having a family.

Cassette 11 Savina Skewis, October 17, 1986

Savina Skewis was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 65 minutes. Skewis graduated from the University of Delaware in 1927, with a major in home economics and a minor in chemistry. In 1946, Skewis began working at the University of Pittsburgh as Assistant Director of Food Services. She explained her interest in food as it relates to people and the development of families. Skewis spoke of her experience on the 12th Floor of the Cathedral of Learning, helping with dinners, teas, and attending meetings. Skewis discussed a time line of her career including becoming the Associate Dean of Women in 1950, Dean of Women in 1968, Associate Dean of Students in 1971, Advisor to the Chancellor and Director of Heinz Chapel from 1974-1978, and finally, the Consultant to the Secretary of the University from 1978-1984.

Cassette 12 Schumacher Interviewed by Joe Desteo at KQV Radio about History of Women at Pitt, 1987

Carolyn Schumacher is interviewed on KQV Radio by Desteo for approximately 20 minutes. Schumacher speaks about the exhibit “The History of Women at Pitt: Reflections on a Changing Society” while also giving general information about female education during the late 1800s- early 1900s. Schumacher speaks about her research, sources, oral history interviews, and production of the exhibit. Additionally, she speaks about the impact of both World Wars on the educational and occupational opportunities for women.

Cassette 13 Schumacher Interview with WTAE, 1987

Carolyn Schumacher is interviewed by John O’Malley of WEEP FM Radio for approximately 23 minutes. Schumacher discusses the development of “The History of Women at Pitt: Reflections on a Changing Society” in addition to her research, sources, oral history interviews, and gives general information about opportunities for women during the twentieth century.

Cassette 14 Sunny Pickering, April 12, 1988

Sunny Pickering was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 60 minutes. She speaks of her family life, parent’s education, and early education experiences. Pickering attended Rochelle Elementary School while also attending oratory school and art classes; she graduated from Carrick High School in 1938. Pickering spoke of the importance of getting her driver’s license and living through the depression. Her family believed she needed polishing, so they sent her to Allegheny College in Meadville to learn manners, social graces, and to experience living away from home. In 1939, she transferred to Carnegie Institute of Technology/ Margaret Morrison to study art; while in college, she joined Alpha Kappa Psi and met her husband.

Cassette 15-16 Carolyn Sutton, March 4; March 9, 1988

Carolyn Sutton was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 90 minutes about her childhood, family, and early education experiences. Sutton grew up in Sewickley, attended Sewickley Academy, and then was sent away to the Master’s Boarding School in New York. Sutton then attended the University of Pittsburgh, studying “general education,” language, English, and art. Sutton recalled memories of communist students, African American classmates, and going before the Senior Court for failing her orientation exam. Sutton worked in a machine shop in Bellevue making “go-no-go gauges” earning $0.90-$1.10; she spoke of her experience as the only woman in the machine shop and the friendships she built.

Cassette 17 Terri Gould, undated

Terry Gould was interviewed by Debora (?) for approximately 28 minutes concerning her career path. Gould, who speaks about her experience as the Director of Educational and Community Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, discusses her job role, professional obligations, and early familial expectations. Gould mentioned her exposure to sexual discrimination and experiences, as compared to men, in the field.

Cassette 18 Vee Toner, November 24, 1987

Vee Toner was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 60 minutes concerning her early family life, education, and experiences as a woman growing up in the twentieth century. Toner’s father started the Lackzoom Health Food Stores in Pittsburgh, which became GNC (General Nutrition Centers) after her brother took over the business. Toner attended the University of Pittsburgh, which she believed to be co-educational and welcoming to women. At Pitt, Toner studied Liberal Arts, joined Delta Zeta, and participated in the sophomore honorary organization Quains(?). As a young woman, Toner owned her own plane and flew in air races and contests. Toner also attended the University of Wisconsin and UCLA to gain Physical Education credits to become a basketball coach in addition to teaching physical education and health, which she did for ten years. Toner married in 1937 and moved often for her husband’s job with PPG.

Cassette 19 Viola Pattersons, December 10, 1986

Viola Pattersons was interviewed by Carolyn Schumacher for approximately 63 minutes. Pattersons recalled her years at the University of Pittsburgh studying education, and mentions skipping class in order to go out to the lawn (where the Cathedral of Learning is now) to watch Billy Sunday speak from a tent. Pattersons graduated and began teaching 8th grade history for $68 a week.