Chatham News

Chatham University President Esther L. Barazzone to be honored as one of the region’s top business leaders with the Pittsburgh Business Times 2012 Diamond Award

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
April 11, 2012

PITTSBURGH (April 11, 2012)… Chatham University President Esther L. Barazzone has been selected as a winner of the Pittsburgh Business Times 2012 Diamond Award, which honors the region’s most accomplished business leaders. Dr. Barazzone, who won in the non-profit category, will be honored at the Diamond Award program on April 26 at the Lexus Club at PNC Park. This year marks Dr. Barazzone’s 20th year as the president of the University.

During Dr. Barazzone’s tenure, Chatham has transformed from a struggling women’s college to a thriving, cutting-edge university, says Trustee Chair S. Murray Rust III. Under her leadership, Chatham College for Women has been revitalized and the College for Graduate Studies and the College for Continuing and Professional Studies, offering programming for both men and women, have been created and are flourishing.

A small women’s college with less than 500 students in 1992, Chatham now has nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students from around the world studying on two campuses, four sites, and online. Chatham’s growth has been accompanied by praise from its peers, being hailed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (regional accreditors) as being a “place of strong intellectual values joined with an impulse for innovation” with the “potential to become a vibrant new national model for the transformation of higher education in the years to come.”

During her presidency, Dr. Barazzone also has led Chatham through a period of major institutional renewal and expansion leading to national recognition and elevation to university status in 2007.  Major program development under her leadership has included the creation of many new degree and certificate programs, a Division III athletic program, outstanding graduate programs (including nationally renowned creative writing and health care programs), and University-wide initiatives such as the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship; the Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics; the Rachel Carson Institute; and the Global Focus program, which received the Institute of International Education’s Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education in 2003. The tradition of innovation and excellence continues at Chatham’s new Eden Hall Campus, the first campus in the world to be built sustainably from the ground up and the future home of Chatham’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment.

An active leader in the national higher education community, Dr. Barazzone has served on many boards, including the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania.

She is a member of the Boards of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dollar Bank, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, and the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh.

She has received many honors, including History Maker in Education, Senator H. John Heinz III History Center (2006); the Vectors Pittsburgh Woman of the Year in Education (1999); and the YWCA Leadership Award in Education (1999).

Her work in international education has been recognized with the University Medal from Fatima Jinnah Women’s University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan (2001) and honorary doctorates from Seoul Women’s University in Seoul, Korea (2000) and Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto, Japan (1999), as well as the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award for Outstanding Leadership for Peace and Humanitarianism from Morehouse College (2004).  She has also been recognized for her work on behalf of the advancement of women by the Susan B. Anthony Leadership Award from the Women’s Leadership Assembly (1999).

Dr. Barazzone holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in European intellectual history from Columbia University, where she was a Fellow of the Faculty. She was a Charter Scholar in the first graduating class of New College in Sarasota, Fla., where she earned her B.A. in philosophy and history. She received a U.S. Student Fulbright award to Spain and studied at the Wharton School of Business Administration and Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit

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