An Oasis in the East End

My school loyalties are pretty simple:

I graduated from Simsbury ( CT ) High School.

I got my bachelor’s degree from Ohio University.

My work and relationships over the years makes Pitt the school I cheer for.

But when it comes to the school I support, it’s Chatham University.

On my bio, you might have noticed I am a trustee at Chatham University. Most of you might be scratching your head as to where this place is. Truth be told, Chatham is in the middle of  Oakland and Shady Side, deep in the woods and away from the world. My little oasis in the heart of the east end.

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The Athletic and Fitness Center (AFC ) on the Chatham Campus. Inside an olympic-size swim pool, basketball arena, climbing wall and fitness center. Best of all, it looks like any campus building

I was asked to join four years ago by president Esther Barazzone, a woman of great energy and great passion. Prior to being asked, I had been involved in hosting the school’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day as well as done one of their earliest stories on the Chatham Hockey team – the first women’s team in the region.

Chatham is the state’s oldest women’s undergraduate school, but it recent years has become co-ed on the graduate and continuing education level. It’s enrollment has reached an all-time high at 2000 students and it recently became a university, changing its name to reflect the new designation. The school has also obtained a farm in Cranberry to advance its efforts to promote a green lifestyle.

But what makes being affiliated with the school so special for me is the campus. It’s as if you suddenly go from western Pennsylvania to a small New England school. Buildings that date back to the turn of the century, a campus green surrounded by dorms. Administration buildings that look more like Victorian homes and a state-of-the-art athletic center that blends into the campus design.

Most of all, it’s peaceful, quiet and serene. It really is a hidden-away haven in the heart of the east end. I go there to work out, to walk around, to watch the Chatham Cougar basketball team and for trustee meetings.

If you ever get a chance, please drive down Fifth Avenue and take a turn into the Chatham campus. I promise you will not be disappointed. In fact, I guarantee you will be amazed …. as I have.

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