Chatham News

Inauguration of Chatham President Dr. David Finegold to Be Held October 13, 2017

PITTSBURGH: Chatham University will celebrate a new era of education with the inauguration ceremony for its 19th president, Dr. David Finegold, on Friday, October 13, at 2:00 p.m. in the Campbell Memorial Chapel on Chatham’s Shadyside campus.  An all-campus reception is scheduled to take place in the Athletic and Fitness Center immediately following the ceremony. More information at

“An inauguration is a milestone moment for a university, but it’s much more than celebrating a new president,” said Jennifer Potter ’66, Chair of Chatham’s Board of Trustees. “President Finegold’s focus is really about celebrating Chatham—honoring our history, the impact of our college community past and present and charting the future together.”

Founded in 1869 as Pennsylvania Female College, Chatham University is approaching its 150-year anniversary and with Dr. Finegold’s inauguration, Chatham has had nine male and nine female presidents in its history.  The institution’s name was changed to Pennsylvania College for Women, and in 1955 the name was changed again to Chatham College in honor of William Pitt, First Earl of Chatham and namesake of the City of Pittsburgh. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted Chatham university status in 2007.

A renowned scholar and educational innovator who has dedicated his career to education reform, the design of high-performance organizations, and extensive comparative research on education and skill-creation systems from around the world, Dr. Finegold began his presidency at Chatham on July 1, 2016.

In his first year at Chatham, Dr. Finegold initiated a campus “listening tour” which included meeting with Chatham departments, students, student groups, alumni and each faculty member. This effort supported a community-wide strategic planning process led by a series of five special task forces focused on the topics of: Access & Affordability, Eden Hall Campus and Sustainability, Growth & Capacity, International Education, and Online Education. The results of this year-long and collaborative strategic planning effort have led to the creation of a new Chatham University Strategic Plan that will be released as part of Inauguration.

Dr. Finegold graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1985, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, from which he received his DPhil in Politics in 1992. Dr. Finegold is originally from New York, NY, and his wife, Susan, is a native of England. They are the parents of a son, Sam and daughter, Charlotte. A full biography, CV, and high-resolution photos are available at

The Inauguration ceremony will cap off a week of celebratory events, including:

Art & Photography Exhibitions
A weeklong exhibit of past inauguration photos and archives will take place in the Jennie King Mellon Library. “Renewable Art Can be Beautiful,” which features public art and sustainable design provided by Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian, Founding Co-Directors of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), will be on display at the Chatham University Art Gallery through October 13.

Women’s Health & Food Insecurity Lectures
The Hollander Women’s Leadership Lecture will take place in the Eddy Theater at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, featuring Dr. Jeanne Jordan, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The George Washington University School of Public Health, who will present “Developing Molecular Tools for Detecting Infectious Diseases: Improving Women’s and Infants’ Health Worldwide.”

 The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) will host the Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series in the Welker Room of the James Laughlin Music Center at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, October 13. The event will focus on food waste and insecurity by featuring the work of 412 Food Rescue, whose mission is to prevent perfectly viable food from entering the waste stream by rescuing surplus food and redirecting to nonprofits that serve those who are food insecure.

Food & Climate Change Conference
Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus, located in Richland Township, will host a Food for Climate Change Conference, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, at the Esther Barazzone Center. There is no cost to attend but registration is required.  The event will feature keynote speakers Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and Right Livelihood Award recipient; and Julie Guthman, author of Agrarian DreamsWeighing In and 2017 Guggenheim Fellow.  In addition, the event will include: demonstrations, exhibits, an interactive tour of Eden Hall; and poster presentations from Chatham University Food Studies & Sustainability master’s degree candidates.   Attendees will also enjoy a hyper-local sustainable lunch, sourced from the University’s on-campus farm.

Service Activities
On Saturday, October 14, Chatham University will host “Chatham Makes a Difference Day,” a volunteer day serving a number of non-profit organizations, including:  Produce to the People, Off the Floor Pittsburgh, Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers, and Wilkinsburg Borough and Carriage House.

Additional information available at