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Chatham College Receives $2.95 Million Gift From The Hillman Foundation; Funds Create Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy.

PITTSBURGH -- PITTSBURGH, May 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hillman Foundation Inc. has awarded a $2.95 million grant to Chatham College for endowment and operations support of what will become the Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy, according to an announcement by Dr. Esther L. Barazzone, Chatham President. As a result, the grant will enable the College to more fully integrate the Center's current work in fostering the civic involvement of women in the political process into the curriculum. At the same time, the grant will broaden the Center's mission to affect public policy to improve the status and impact of women in western Pennsylvania and throughout the state.

"Building upon the legacy and excellent work of the Center for Women in Politics in Pennsylvania and our endowed The Elsie Hilliard Hillman Chair in Politics, this grant will enable Chatham College to place the status of women in our region and in our state on the forefront of the public agenda," Dr. Barazzone said. "The reconceived Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy will fill a critical policy gap by collecting and organizing information about women to help formulate public policy recommendations, while continuing to foster the active engagement of women in politics at all levels."

Dr. Barazzone noted that, "In this region, for example, there is a significant salary gap between men and women and, at the state level, the majority of college graduates leaving the Commonwealth are female."

The original Center for Women in Politics in Pennsylvania was established at Chatham College in 1998 through the generosity of The Hillman Foundation and was the first of its kind to focus specifically on women's political involvement in the Commonwealth, with the goal of increasing women's political participation at all levels of government. Since its inception the Center has reported on the lack of women in Pennsylvania politics, statistics recently echoed by other Pittsburgh public policy groups.

According to statistics from the Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy (prior to May 20, 2003 primary):
 * Pennsylvania ranks 44th of all 50 states with regard to the number
 of women in state-wide elected positions, including state senators and
 state representatives, in the legislative branch.
 * Women occupy only 16% of the Pennsylvania state senate, and only 14%
 of Pennsylvania's state house of representatives. Nationally, women
 occupy 20% of state senate seats and 23% of all state house seats.
 * Regionally, there are only two women out of nine members of Pittsburgh
 City Council and only two women out of 15 members of Allegheny County

"The Center's role in the core educational programming of the College, coupled with its expanded public policy mission, gives Chatham the important responsibility to be a primary advocate for women throughout Pennsylvania and specifically to monitor the status of women in the region," Dr. Barazzone said. "Although the policy focus will shift over time to project the most significant current issues, the Center will always measure the standing of women in southwestern Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh as benchmarks for the region as well as at least one national issue of policy concerning women, such as women's health.

"It is clear that the development of our region depends in no small part on improving the opportunities for leadership and status of women here. We are grateful to The Hillman Foundation for investing in women and their role in the region and in the state."

Chatham has been preparing World Ready Women(TM) since 1869, and is one of the nation's oldest colleges still awarding undergraduate degrees solely to women. Today Chatham College provides its more than 1,200 students -- both undergraduate and graduate -- with a liberal arts education and pre- professional programs. Ready to Change Your World?(SM) Chatham also offers graduate studies, continuing education and certification programs for women and men. The 32-acre arboretum campus is located on historic Woodland Road in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh. For more information call 412-365-1100 or visit
 Media Contact
 Paul A. Kovach
 Director of College Communications
 Phone: 412-365-1140

CONTACT: Paul A. Kovach, Director of College Communications of Chatham College, +1-412-365-1140

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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:May 29, 2003
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