Chatham News

Chatham University President Esther L. Barazzone honored at the Celebrate & Share – Women of Achievement Awards held March 6

PITTSBURGH (March 8, 2013) … In celebration of Women’s History Month, Chatham University President Esther L. Barazzone, Ph.D., was honored at the Celebrate & Share – Women of Achievement Awards on March 6 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Dr. Barazzone was one of 26 women of Pittsburgh to be honored for their outstanding accomplishments that have greatly contributed to the success and advancement of the city. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala and his wife Mary Zappala hosted the 8th Annual Celebrate & Share event. A full list of honorees and more information about the awards can be viewed at

This past December marked Dr. Barazzone’s 20th anniversary as president of the University. During her tenure, the addition of graduate programming has transformed the college into a nationally recognized university. Today, Chatham consists of the historic Chatham College for Women (undergraduate education) as well as offers programs for men and women within the College for Graduate Studies, the School of Sustainability and the Environment, and the College for Continuing and Professional Studies.

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 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 healthcare 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 for sustainable living, learning, and development from the ground up. Eden Hall will also be the future home of Chatham’s School of Sustainability and the Environment, offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in the emerging fields of sustainability and food studies. Chatham broke ground on Eden Hall in October 2012 and the first phase of construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2013.

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, founded in 1869, is located in the vibrant Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa. Preparing students from around the world, Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the Pittsburgh region. With enrollment of over 2,300 students and consisting of an undergraduate women’s college and co-educational graduate and online programs, Chatham has consistently been ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Offering challenging academics and innovative programming in the fields of sustainability and the environment, health and lab sciences, creative and liberal arts, and business and entrepreneurship, a Chatham education is designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy, today.

For more information, call 412-365-1139 or visit