Chatham News

U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe to give public lecture at Chatham University on April 15

The evening is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University and the Hillman Foundation

PITTSBURGH (March 26, 2013) … Senator Olympia Snowe, widely known for her efforts to build bipartisan consensus on key issues, is Chatham University’s Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics for the 2012-13 academic year. The Elsie Hillman Chair is an honor that is awarded by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) at Chatham University with financial support from the Hillman Foundation. As such, she will deliver a public lecture at the Campbell Memorial Chapel on Chatham’s Shadyside Campus at 6 p.m. on April 15. Snowe will offer her perspective on the current environment in Washington and what can be done to fix the broken system. Registration is available on the PCWP website.

About Olympia Snowe
After announcing in March 2012 that she would not seek reelection in the November election, Snowe retired at the end of her third term as a U.S. Senator from Maine on January 3 of this year. Throughout the years, her dedicated work in the U.S. Senate has garnered her nationwide recognition as a leading policymaker in Washington. In 2005, she was named the 54th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. In 2006, Time magazine named her one of the top ten U.S. Senators. Calling her “The Caretaker,” it wrote of Snowe: “Because of her centrist views and eagerness to get beyond partisan point scoring, Maine Republican Olympia Snowe is in the center of every policy debate in Washington, but while Snowe is a major player on national issues, she is also known as one of the most effective advocates for her constituents.”

With her election in 1994, Snowe became only the second woman senator in history to represent Maine, following the late Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, who served from 1949-1973. In November 2006, she was re-elected to a third six-year term in the United States Senate with 74 percent of the vote. Before her election to the Senate, Olympia Snowe represented Maine’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years. Senator Snowe is only the fourth woman in history to be elected to both houses of Congress and the first woman in American history to serve in both houses of a state legislature and both houses of Congress. When first elected to Congress in 1978, at the age of 31, Olympia Snowe was the youngest Republican woman, and the first Greek-American woman, ever elected to Congress. She has won more federal elections in Maine than anyone since World War II.

Focusing her attention on efforts to build bipartisan consensus on key issues that matter to Maine and America, Snowe has built a reputation as one of the Congress’ leading moderates. In 1999, she was cited by Congressional Quarterly for her centrist leadership, and was co-chair with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) of a bipartisan, consensus-building group in the Senate called the Common Ground Coalition — a forum for communication and cooperation between Senate Democrats and Republicans.

During her time in the Senate, Senator Snowe worked extensively on a number of issues, such as budget and fiscal responsibility; education, including student financial aid and education technology; national security; women’s issues; healthcare, including prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients; welfare reform; oceans and fisheries issues; and campaign finance reform.

During her tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, she co-chaired the Congressional Caucus on Women’s issues for 10 years, and provided leadership in establishing the Office of Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. She also served as a member of the House Budget Committee and House Subcommittee on Human Services.

She served in both Houses of the Maine Legislature, first elected to the Maine House – representing her hometown of Auburn — in 1973 to the seat left vacant by the death of her first husband, the late Peter Snowe, in an auto accident. She was re-elected in 1974, and was elected to the Maine Senate representing Androscoggin County in 1976.

About the Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics
The Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics was established by The Hillman Foundation, Inc. in 1997 to honor the Pittsburgh, Pa., native and long-time political native. The chair serves as an inspiration and role model for students, as well as other members of the university community and citizens of the state of Pennsylvania.

The purpose of the chair is to bring nationally renowned political leaders, scholars, and activists to Chatham University to enrich the experiences of students and educate citizens about the role of women in the political process.

About the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics
The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) is a non–partisan center devoted to fostering women’s public leadership through education, empowerment, and action.

The first center to focus on women’s political involvement in Pennsylvania, the PCWP integrates disciplinary knowledge, civic education, and capacity building while examining the intersection of women and public policy. The Center conducts candidate and advocacy trainings, offers educational programs in applied politics, and provides timely analysis on women’s issues.

The Center is also home to the University’s membership in Project Pericles – a select group of liberal arts colleges and universities that have made institutional commitments to promoting participatory citizenship and social responsibility.

The Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy was established in 1998 through the generosity of the Hillman Foundation, Inc. and the Maurice Falk Medical Foundation. It was then reconceived and endowed in 2003, by the Hillman Foundation.

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 more than 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 byU.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