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History of the Women's Guild

2013 is our 85th year!

The Women’s Guild of Duquesne University has made significant contributions to the physical growth of the University and to the academic development of its students.

Although the Guild was not officially organized until 1928, its roots can be traced to 1926 when Mrs. William C. Eichenlaub, one of the early presidents of the Guild, gathered a group of women together to make altar clothes and vestments.

The organization was officially founded in October 1928 by Miss M. Gertrude Blanchard, Dean of Women and University Librarian. At first, membership in the Guild was restricted to mothers of freshman women. Later the mothers of freshman men were invited to join, and eventually membership was extended to Duquesne alumnae and friends of the University.

One of the Guild’s early projects was the establishment of a scholarship fund for women students, which was later made available to men students. In 1935, the Guild gave financial aide to the nurses’ library fund and also sponsored a sisters’ religious student loan. In 1936, the members sewed for the University Chapel and also did relief work for the victims of the Johnstown flood.

Each function held by the Guild has been for the benefit of the University and its students, and the annual Pink Geranium Party is an important part of the tradition. The first party was held at the Old Wabash Station, and subsequent parties were held at the Schenley Hotel, the University Gymnasium, the Equitable Gas Company, Rockwell Hall, and, eventually in the Duquesne Union Ballroom where it is held today.

Many of the Guild contributions are still visible today on the Duquesne campus. They include:

1953 Donated funds toward furnishing a room in Assumption Hall, the first women’s residence hall.
1954 Purchased a silver tea service to be used at the dedication of Assumption Hall. This was the first Mother’s Tea.
1955 Provided furnishings for the chapel in Assumption Hall, and a baby grand piano and cover for the hall.
1956 Approved the erection of a crucifix on campus.
1957 Chapel donated in honor of the Assumption of Our Lady.
1958 The purchase and erection of the cross on campus was completed.
1959 Provided the furnishings for the Office of the Dean of the School of Business and Administration in Rockwell Hall.
1960 Continued the maintenance of the Student Loan fund; financial support toward the rehabilitation of the main entrance to the Administration Building.
1961 Established a library room in memory of Miss Gertrude Blanchard, first librarian and Guild founder; continued support to the Student Loan Fund.
1962 Provided furnishings and equipment for the School of Education Curriculum Library; purchased and installed drapes on the stage of Peters Mills Auditorium in Rockwell Hall; “Campus Landscape Design.”
1963 Renovation of Campus Theatre; continued the “Campus Landscape Design.”
1964 Rebuilding the pipe organ in the University Chapel.
1965 John F. Kennedy Memorial Collection in the University Library.
1966 School of Music Building Fund.
1967 Music Listening Room in the Duquesne Union.
1968 Furnishings for the Dean’s and Administrative Office in the School of Education in Canevin Hall.
1969 Outdoor directional signs located on campus.
1970 Furnishings for the new University medical facilities.
1971 Music Listening Rooms in the Duquesne Union and Duquesne Towers residence hall.
1972 Purchased a student training synthesizer for the School of Music.
1974 Grant-in-aid to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to replace out-of-date equipment in the General Physics Laboratory in Mellon Hall.
1975 Grant-in-aid to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to purchase and install equipment in the Nuclear Physics Department.
1976 Theology Department Scholarship Endowment.
1977 Duquesne University Library Fund.
1978 Restoration of “Old Main” facilities.
1979 Restoration of “Munich” Stained Glass Windows in the University Chapel.
1980 Installation of the Campus Directional Sign System through-out the Pittsburgh area.
1981 Electronic equipment for the School of Pharmacy and the Journalism Department.
1982 Purchase of mannequins for nurse-practice procedures for the School of Nursing.
1983 Purchase of an identification sign for placement in a prominent location on campus.
1984 Purchase of additional computer hardware for University-wide use.
1985 Restoration of the University Chapel.
1986 Campus Landscape and Beautification Plan.
1987 Renovation of main entrance to Administration Building and  University Chapel.
1988 Purchased new laboratory equipment for the School of  Pharmacy undergraduate program.
1989 Renovation of physics laboratory/workshop in Mellon Hall of  Science into classroom space.
1990 Conversion of two adjoining Music School classrooms into Recording Arts Studio.
1991 Refurbished the School of Music Recital Hall.
1992 Acquired needed equipment for the Department of Physical Therapy in the John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences.
1993 Refurbished the mosaic artwork and the Duquesne University Tamburitzan’s sign for their building.
1994 Replaced the doors leading into the Duquesne University Chapel. Chapel celebrated 100th Anniversary.
1995 Supported “Duquesne NET”, a computerized learning system for the A.J. Palumbo School of Business.
1997 Furnished the Law School with new podiums.
1998 Purchased medical instruments for the School of Nursing.
1999 Purchased computer equipment for School of Music.
2000 Purchased books on family and ethics for the Gumberg Library.
2001 John G. Rangos School of Health Science.
2004 Monetary donation to Campus Ministry.
2005 Monetary donation to Campus Ministry.
2006 Monetary donation to support students helping Katrina victims.
2007 Monetary donation to Campus Ministry.
2008 Monetary donation to Campus Ministry and student scholarship.
2009 Monetary donation to Campus Ministry
2010 Endowed Scholarship donation and monetary donation to Campus Ministry

2011

2012

Endowed Scholarship donation and monetary donation to Campus Ministry

Completion of $50,000 Endowed Scholarship and monetary donation to Campus Ministry

The history of the Women’s Guild gives testimony to the fact that the members of the Guild are hardworking and dedicated.