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Dear Alumni and Friends, 2018 marks a historic milestone in the life of Seton Hill University. It was 100 years ago - in 1918 - that the Sisters of Charity, with tremendous vision and forethought, opened the doors to Seton Hill College - a four-year women’s institution. Before women even had the right to vote, they were being educated in the finest tradition of Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Sisters of Charity, who prepared them for the “world in which they were destined to live.” Seton Hill’s Centennial provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the past and to honor all of the Sisters, lay leaders, faculty, staff, students, and alumni who have built Seton Hill into a world-class educational institution. The celebration also offers us a chance to look toward the future and how we can work together to ensure that Seton Hill remains vibrant and vital over the next 100 years. This commemorative book celebrating 100 years of Setonian education is a companion piece to a beautiful Centennial Wall that extends the hallway of the second floor of the Administration Building on campus. I hope that you will take some time to visit campus to see the wall and other historic exhibits, attend any of the Centennial Events being held this year, including Lunch with Liz, Alumni Weekend or Christmas on the Hill, or to simply see how the University has changed, and stayed the same, since you last were on the Hill. As always, thank you for your support of Seton Hill and the generations of students whose lives have been transformed here. Hazard Yet Forward,

Mary C. Finger President, Seton Hill University



his Centennial retrospective is aptly named 100 Years Forward to honor a legacy of pioneering women and passionate teachers who turned modest beginnings into world-class ends. In periods of abundance and moments of uncertainty, the Sisters responded with unflinching courage and an enterprising tenacity. Their visionary ideas have often exceeded their time. For 100 prosperous years, Seton Hill has met each turning point with its motto and guiding principle: Hazard yet Forward. It gained momentum that outlasted those first years as a college in the twenties and survived the Great Depression in the thirties. Seton Hill persevered by helping lift a nation out of a world war and opened up new opportunities for women in the forties and fifties. It weathered nationwide unrest and adapted to new societal realities spurred by the sixties and seventies. In years most recent, Seton Hill called upon the ingenuity and tenacity of its community to reshape itself for a 21st century education, transforming from a small women’s college to a comprehensive, co-educational university. Over the decades, Seton Hill has swung wide the gates of progress and stepped forward—unlocking the door to its highest aspirations—to ensure that the best tradition of the Sisters of Charity endures for another century to come.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

SETON HILL COLLEGE OPENS In 1917, the Sisters of Charity, after operating a successful women’s junior college, endeavor to charter a four-year women’s undergraduate institution. Sr. Francesca Brownlee champions the project. She welcomes three inspectors from the Pennsylvania College and University Council in July 1917 to examine the college. Some members of the Committee are unconditionally opposed to Seton Hill’s incorporation. They inform the Sisters that the library and laboratory equipment are not sufficient. A month later, Sr. Francesca takes the train to Philadelphia, Pa. to answer questions by the College and University Council. The Council rejects the Sisters’ petition and lays two additional objections: the property of the proposed college is not separately incorporated from the Community and the college lacks a sufficient endowment as required by Pennsylvania state law. Undeterred by the sling of objections, Sr. Francesca appears before the Council once more in April 1918. For the past year, she has mobilized the Sisters to seek gifts to cover the purchase of costly laboratory equipment. The Sisters address concerns about having too small of a library by placing “on the shelves every book which could be considered of

value to the college; their families emptied shelves and cupboards.” Scientific and psychological texts are procured during one of Father Sullivan’s visits to New York. They answer the endowment question by pointing to the income produced from the farm on campus, and they separately incorporate as “Seton Hill College.” After several hours of being grilled during the April 1918 session, Sr. Francesca Brownlee emerges victorious with approval from the Council to establish Seton Hill College. Judge Alexander D. McConnell, Judge for the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas, issues officially the charter of Seton Hill College on June 3, 1918. At a time when women’s colleges were thought to be mere finishing schools, Seton Hill’s academic standards brooked no compromise. The College from the very beginning requires students to enroll in biology, chemistry, and mathematics

courses. In addition, they are required to enroll in Latin, the modern languages, sociology, psychology, history and logic. Nearly 90% of Seton Hill’s early graduates pursue a career in teaching. While states require only 20 hours of student-teaching, Seton Hill requires “a full year of practice teaching in a subject chosen for her specialty.” Sr. Electa Boyle, a former Dean and English faculty member, later writes in Mother Seton’s Sisters of Charity in Western Pennsylvania that “the group of Sisters who inaugurated the college work set for it the highest standards of achievement. No mediocrity found its way into the instruction of those first years…the passion for perfection the founders of Seton Hill College possessed in abundance; and from this ideal the college has never retrograded.”

1918-1919 1918/1st President Mother Mary Joseph Havey serves as the first president of Seton Hill College. At the time of the college’s founding, the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Charity was the College President. As Mother Havey had the responsibility to oversee more than 200 sisters serving throughout the region, she appointed Sr. Francesca Brownlee to manage the affairs of the College. Sr. Francesca serves as Dean of the College until 1929. During Mother Havey’s tenure, Seton Hill grew significantly in its infancy, receiving special mention from the Pittsburgh Press.

1918/1st Dean The quote from Sr. Francesca Brownlee (on right) served as the basis for an award-winning Seton Hill marketing campaign in 2007.



Mother Mary Joseph Havey

Sr. Francesca Brownlee

“If the management of Seton Hill find a (better) way of doing things…they are bound by no traditions and they fear nothing but God’s disfavor and the closed mind.” - Sr. Francesca Brownlee, First Dean of Seton Hill College

1919/1st Degrees Seton Hill’s first degrees, both Bachelors of Music, are conferred in June 1919 to Othelia Averman Vogel and Maria Caveney Coolahan. As pianists, they traveled to Europe to study with some of the finest pianists on the continent.

1919/The Setonian The first issue of the student newspaper, The Setonian, is published.

Maria Caveney Coolahan

Othelia Averman Vogel


1919/Grand Canyon

The Treaty of Versailles is signed ending WWI.

The Grand Canyon is established as a National Park

Each graduating class has designed a class banner that is displayed at every Commencement and at other University gatherings.

1920s 1920/Lowe Hall The College outgrows its existing facilities and requires a new dining room and residence hall. Three members of the Class of 1920 are promised the right to name the new building since construction delays did not allow them to reside there. They decide on Lowe Hall in honor of Mother Aloysia Lowe.

Later, Sr. Mary Francis Irwin and Bernelle Fullerton install stencils into the ceiling of Lowe Hall.

1920/Steel Strike Ends The Great Steel Strike of 1919 ends.

1920/Student Planting On June 8, 1920, the first Senior Ivy Planting and the first Junior Tree Planting takes place. While the tradition of planting ivy had to be discontinued as the vines proved destructive, the junior class continues to plant a tree on campus every spring.


1920/The Roaring 20s

Congress ratifies the 18th Amendment.

The Roaring 20s was an age of dramatic social and political change.


1921/New Orleans

After three years, Seton Hill applies for accreditation with the Association of Colleges in the Middle States and Maryland and is accepted. Accreditors praise the institution and place Seton Hill on an exclusive listing of colleges with exceptionally high standards.

1921/2nd President Mother Mary Raymond Creed is installed as the second President of Seton Hill College and would serve until 1924. Under her leadership, the College increased its assets to more than $2 million dollars, constructed two new residence halls and doubled its library holdings.

Mother Mary Raymond Creed

Mother Mary Joseph Havey begins a 30-year partnership by sending six Sisters of Charity to teach the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans to help them gain certification and continue teaching as the demand for teachers in African-American schools begins to surge. Sr. Mary Reginald Carter, S.S.F., a Sister of the Holy Family and an alumna of Seton Hill College, is the first African-American woman religious to receive her doctorate in the United States—a doctorate in Spanish literature from St. Louis University.

1923/Alumni Corporation

1924/3rd President

The early graduates of the College establish the Seton Hill Alumni Corporation. Their first act of business is to host a Thanksgiving Eve Ball to raise scholarship funds for Seton Hill College. Over 500 guests attend the event in the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA.

Seton Hill installs Mother Rose Genevieve Rodgers as the third president of Seton Hill and she will hold the position for one year. She is the last president to serve while Mother Superior to the Sisters of Charity. She served as Mother Superior until 1930 and then again from 1936 until her retirement in 1939.

1924/Sycamores The Sisters plant 109 sycamore trees along both sides of the University’s entrance drive; their branches now form a leafy archway from the bottom of the hill to the top.

1923/Hockey Students enjoy ice skating and hockey on Lake Regina located at the bottom of Seton Hill Drive where wetlands are found today.

Mother Rose Genevieve Rodgers

1925/4th President Rev. Daniel Richard Sullivan is installed as fourth President of Seton Hill College, where he will serve until 1931. Father Sullivan began his tenure at Seton Hill in 1911 as a chaplain and instructor and later Dean of the Faculty.

1925/Canevin Hall A second student residence hall, Canevin Hall, named for Archbishop J.F. Regis Canevin who supported the Sisters in their pursuit of a college charter, opens.

Father Sullivan composes the words to Seton Hill’s Alma Mater and selects the school’s motto, “Hazard Yet Forward;” also the motto of the Seton family crest that dates back to the twelfth century.

Rev. Daniel Richard Sullivan

Inscribed on a large key to St. Mary Hall: “I opened not merely the door to this house; I swung the gates of an era.” - Father Sullivan


1927/Practice House

Sr. Florence Marie Scott, who later conducted preeminent scientific research at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, graduates from Seton Hill.

St. Mary Hall becomes the home of the “Home Management House,” offering students practical experience in running a home and taking care of children. Students live in the practice house for six weeks assuming the roles of house manager, meal manager, mother and hostess. A live baby, from the Roselia Foundling Asylum and Material Hospital (also managed by the Sisters of Charity), lives in the practice house with the students and faculty sisters. For much of its existence, the practice house falls under the management of Sr. Rose Angela Cunningham, who would later chair the Home Economics Department.

“Our achievements disprove the age old contention that women are by nature inferior, and we look forward to the present contests to add new evidence on the point.” - Seton Hill Debate Team member

1928/Debate Club President Sullivan assists in the founding of a debate club on campus, which gains notoriety as the young women match wits with students from Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, and St. Andrews in Scotland.

“We are new people, comparatively speaking, and this is a new school. We are not the passive recipients of a legacy of tradition but the makers of it… It is our school. It is making us now; we will eventually make it, even though we have not yet the pride of aristocrats looking back on things accomplished, but the ardor of pioneers seeing great things ahead.” - 1928 Setonian Editorial “My School”

1929/Sullivan Hall Construction is completed on the Student Activities Building. Father Sullivan pays for the building by initiating a campaign that begins with his personal gift of $500. Referring to his visits of German castles on the Rhine, the Sisters tenderly refer to the new building as Father Sullivan’s “Castle on the Hill.” It would be twenty years later that the building, in its Norman Château splendor, would be appropriately named, Sullivan Hall.

1930s 1930/Through the Years During the Golden Age of Radio, the students of Seton Hill are asked to perform weekly broadcasts on Pittsburgh’s KDKA station featuring the Seton Hill Glee Club, piano performances and instrumental solos. This same year, Seton Hill establishes its Honors Program, which is later advertised in 1931 by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, “Reading System, Worked out by Late President Sullivan, Successfully Carried Out by Faculty at Progressive Girl’s School.”

1931/5th President Seton Hill installs Father James Reeves as fifth president of Seton Hill after the death of President Sullivan. Father Reeves, who will serve until 1947, formerly served as a member of the faculty and Vice President, overseeing the educational activities of the College. Father Reeves initiates an extensive health and physical training program on campus.

Rev. James A. Wallace Reeves

1929/Great Depression True destitution and poverty from financial panic grips the world.

Students play tennis on campus.

1931/Great Depression

1934/1st Students from Puerto Rico

At the forefront of Father Reeves’ tenure is the Great Depression. The Sisters enact austerity measures, which include scaling back student dances and events to help meet expenses. Students often were unable to pay tuition. Sr. Jane Elizabeth’s account books, as the college treasurer, are filled with notations that represent barters of food, milk, hay, and equipment from family farms to help pay for tuition.

Mercedes Canino and Amelia Balasquide are the first Seton Hill students from Puerto Rico. Since then, Seton Hill has welcomed generations of students from the island territory.

1932/Sunday Mass College officials bring ecclesiastical speakers to speak at St. Joseph Chapel each Sunday mass, which initiates a tradition of faculty and students wearing their academic robes to Chapel. Alumni later affectionately recount the creation of their own quiet tradition by wearing pajamas underneath their robes from their residence halls to the Chapel. Amelia Balasquide

Mercedes Canino

1932/Color Film Three-strip technicolor is introduced.

1936/The Teaching Plan

1936/Career Sr. Maurice McManama begins her teaching career at Seton Hill. For more than 40 years she would have an extraordinary influence on the lives of those she taught. A professional psychologist, she also served as the chair of the Psychology Department for more than 30 years. Sr. Maurice McManama

Seton Hill trains student teachers under a cadet system that requires them to teach for at least a year and graduate within five years in exchange for a tuition discount. The program begins under the care of Helen Schmaedel, chair of the Education department, and sends students to various public and parochial schools throughout the region.

1936/Science The college continues to bolster its academic programs by adding a department of physics and adding additional chemistry and biology courses.

1940s 1942/Aviation Six Sisters of Charity enroll in a preflight aviation training course taught by U.S. Army glider pilots. Afterward, they take the Civil Aeronautics Administration examination that qualifies them to teach courses sponsored by the U.S. Government for students interested in military service.

Students enjoy a toboggan ride on the Hill.

A campus observatory opens thanks to gifts from the classes of 1940 and 1943. It is later replaced by Reeves Memorial Library and Havey Hall.

1944/Von Trapp As World War II rages against Hitler’s Germany, the Von Trapp Family Singers – the inspiration for The Sound of Music - perform at a concert on February 21 at Seton Hill. Students conduct war bond and stamp sales to support the war effort while air raid drills become part of college life.

1946/Veterans The Sisters and faculty welcome 40 male World War II veterans who are required to live off-campus. While they cannot earn Seton Hill degrees, the men use their credits to enroll at other institutions and pursue careers in business, government, medicine and engineering.

“We have lent you our college and we welcome you to it.” - Dr. Daniel Carr, Dean of the World War II Veterans

“For the first time since 1941, the senior graduates can
step from the commencement stage into a world of peace. But they will not leave without a last view of the four
years they spent at Seton Hill … She knew that the things of the past could never return; that Seton would always be changing to meet the demands of the present.” - Mary Ruan Smith in The Setonian

1946/Orchestra College Orchestra performs in 1946


1947/Reeves Memorial Library

Seton Hill is accepted as a member of the National Association of Schools of Music, and remains one of the oldest accredited programs in the country.

The passing of Father Reeves prompts the initiation of Seton Hill’s first public fundraising campaign (totaling more than $500,000) for a free-standing library to be named Reeves Memorial Library. The building was later renovated to become Reeves Learning Commons to accommodate changes in student study preferences.

1947/Interim President Mother Maria Benedict Monahan serves as interim president after the death of Father Reeves for six months until Msgr. William Granger Ryan is named president.

1945/The Holocaust Victims of The Holocaust are freed as World War II comes to an end. Mother Maria Benedict Monahan

1948/6th President Msgr. William Granger Ryan is inaugurated as the sixth president of Seton Hill and will serve until 1971. A celebrated scholar of modern languages, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette refers to him as “a tall, lean mixture of Irish charm and French elegance.” His presidency is marked by the post-war boom that includes record enrollments and significant physical expansion of the College. Today, the Ryan Theatre in the Performing Arts Center is named in his honor.

Msgr. William Granger Ryan

1949/Inclusion While the College continues to recruit students from more than 37 countries, Monsignor Ryan notices a lack of applications from African-American students. He is inspired to promote inclusion of the student body by the Sisters’ work in New Orleans.

1950s 1951/Nursery School Sr. Maurice McManama, chair of the Psychology Department, and Sr. Rose Angela Cunningham, chair of the Home Economics Department, open a nursery school known today as the Child Development Center.

1952/Chevron Seton Hill’s yearbook publication, The Chevron, is founded by the Class of 1952.

“Liberal arts is more than a well-worn phrase at Seton Hill…It means a cultured and sensitive mind, a heart full of faith in the future and willing at all times to help others find that faith…” - Beatrice Mulvehill ’52, First Chevron Editor

1953/Archery Students participate in archery.

1954/Field Hockey 1950-1953/The Korean War War begins June 25, 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea.

Students play field hockey.

1956/Honorary Degrees Seton Hill issues its first honorary degrees, to the right Rev. Mons. Paul J. Glenn; the school’s attorney, Robert W. Smith; and to a friend and benefactor of the college, Thomas Lynch.

1958/Havey Hall Havey Hall, a new residence hall, opens.

1955/Polio Vaccine A successful vaccine driving down polio case courts from more than 16,000 annually to zero in the U.S.

1960s 1961/General Carlos Romulo Gen. Carlos Romulo, Pulitzer Prize winning war correspondent and former President of the United Nations General Assembly, speaks at Seton Hill.

Gen. Carlos Romulo

1960/Kennedy Elected John F. Kennedy is elected U.S. president, the first Roman Catholic to hold office.

1963/Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal A delegation of 15 Sisters of Charity, along with President Ryan, travel to Rome, Italy to witness the beatification of Elizabeth Ann Seton. In honor of the historic event, the Seton Hill Alumni Corporation creates the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal to be awarded to an “outstanding Roman Catholic American woman.” On October 26, 1963, President Ryan presents the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal at the Fall Convocation to its inaugural recipient: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother of President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. More than 1,500 people crowd onto the Hilltop campus to witness the event. One month later, President Kennedy—is assassinated. Classes are cancelled at Seton Hill and chapel services are held to pray for the Nation and the Kennedy family.

1964/Male Visitors On the evening of December 11, 1964, men are allowed to enter the residence halls for the first time. The fathers of students and other male family members are authorized to view—from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. only—the Christmas decorations on the doorways of student rooms.

1965/Brownlee Hall 1967/St. Vincent College Seton Hill and St. Vincent Colleges agree to begin a cooperative program that expanded course offerings for students from both schools with a bus running daily between the two campuses.

Brownlee Hall was opened in the fall as a student residence.

1967/Dress Code The Sisters jettison their iconic “black caps� and gowns for modified, modern habits and relax the dress code for the young women who no longer have to don white hats, gloves, and overcoats to walk in downtown Greensburg.

Before 1967, students had to wear a hat and gloves if they ventured off campus.

Students without hats and gloves at the Train Station in Greensburg.

1968/50th Anniversary of Seton Hill Seton Hill College celebrates its 50th anniversary with a four-day celebration in 1968. Katherine Elkus White, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, made keynote remarks to the students at Seton Hill. 200 colleges and universities attend an academic convocation.

One of the first Seton Hill graduates Maria Caveney Coolahan and Sr. M. DeChantal Leis at the 50th Anniversary Celebration.

1969/Moon Landing Apollo 11 is the first spaceflight to land humans on the moon.

Bishop William G. Connare, President Ryan and Mother M. Victoria Brown celebrate the 50th anniversary

1970s 1970/Protest

1970/Lynch Hall

Lynch Hall Construction

Students protest the Vietnam War by marching down Seton Hill Drive in 1970.

The completed Lynch Hall

Mary Eleanor Head Lynch, the wife of prominent Greensburg businessman, Clay Frick Lynch, makes a $250,000 gift to construct the Clay Frick Lynch Hall of Science. Mrs. Lynch’s great-grandmother, Sophia Head, was a pupil of Elizabeth Ann Seton. Her late husband was a devoted benefactor and friend of the College throughout his lifetime and rallied the Pennsylvania Governor and the College and University Council to approve Seton Hill’s incorporation in 1918. Today, part of the building houses Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in addition to Seton Hill laboratories and classrooms.



Students practice judo moves.

Seton Hill faculty members elect their first slate of officers for the Seton Hill Faculty Association, which would become the precursor to Seton Hill’s Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate today is the main instrument for faculty participation in setting policy and making decisions on academic affairs.

1973/Shirley Chisholm Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, speaks at the college.

1971/7th President Seton Hill installs Sr. Mary Thecla Schmidt as the seventh president of the College, a role she will fill until 1977. She had served as acting president in 1970 after the retirement of President William Granger Ryan and previously served as the Executive Vice President in President Ryan’s administration. Her tenure was marked by the creation of new preprofessional academic programs and the introduction of field work and internship opportunities in the curriculum. Sr. Mary Thecla Schmidt

Shirley Chisholm


The Canonization is celebrated in Rome. Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity, is canonized on September 14, 1975, making her the first American-born saint. Newspapers report that “at least two plane loads of Seton Hill alumnae” and approximately 100 sisters from the Seton Hill community sojourn to Rome for the celebration. The College and the Sisters of Charity host a grand two-day celebration complete with trumpeters on rooftops.

Canonization of Elizabeth Ann Seton Celebration at Seton Hill

Sr. Rose Angela and alumna Florence Fiori ‘34 at the Canonization

“She pioneered free education and stood for the rights of the poor and destitute, for racial equality and for religious freedom. Most importantly, she was a woman of consummate faith and hope and love. And she is ours to know; in her experience we can recognize our own…”

- Saint Elizabeth Seton, The Holiness of an American Woman, by Sr. Mary Schmidt

1977/8th President Eileen Farrell, a 1946 Seton Hill alumna, is installed as the eighth president of Seton Hill and will serve until 1987. She is the college’s first lay president. During her tenure, she increased the endowment by 50 percent, revised the curriculum and initiated an adult degree program.

Eileen Farrell

1976/Bayley Hall Bayley Hall, the new home economics building, opens in the fall. It is named in honor of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, whose maiden name was Bayley. The building would house the first microwave oven, which was welcomed to campus by Sr. Mildred Corvi, Robert Sippos and Sr. Victoria Marie Gribschaw.

“Seton Hill College since its inception has been concerned with the education of the whole person, the development of her intellect and her character. I intend to continue to move the College in this direction.” - Eileen Farrell

1978/Josefa Filkosky Josefa Filkosky, a pioneer in minimalist art whose sculptures won international recognition, is appointed as chair of the Art Department. She builds on the College’s existing Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (that began in 1918) and Bachelor of Arts in Art Education (that began in 1952) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and new graphic design program.

1978/Art Buchwald American humorist and Washington Post columnist Art Buchwald visits Seton Hill.

Pipe Dream V by Josefa Filkosky, Pittsburgh

Josefa Filkosky

“(Her sculptures) do not so much fill space as capture it and set it into motion. With even her largest pieces … there is a sense of freedom, the liberation of human forces within a manmade space.”

- Art Critic J.H. Brundage on Josefa Filkosky

Art Buchwald

1980s 1980/1st Computer

1983/Murphy Scholarship The first computer arrives on campus.

Sr. Miriam Joseph Murphy teaching Class

1981/Maya Angelou

A scholarship for English majors is established at Seton Hill in honor of Sr. Miriam Joseph Murphy. It seems that no one who knew “Mimi Jo” – who taught in Seton Hill’s English Department for 43 years – is without a story about her, and her love for Shakespeare, poetry, Seton Hill English majors, and Ireland.

Maya Angelou, the renowned poet, civil rights activist and author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” speaks at Seton Hill.

Maya Angelou

1985/Adult Degrees The College builds on its adult education program and confers degrees to adult students in 1985. The tradition of educating non-traditional students goes back to the College’s original charter, “Persons of mature years and of good character, who, without being candidates for degrees, wish to broaden the scope of their scholarship, are admitted…”

1986/To Boldly Go... Female students say they are “Better Dead than Coed.”

The School of Fine Arts begins accepting male students interested in pursuing majors in art, theatre, communication, and music. While male students were also accepted into the Continuing Education program, the male undergraduate arts majors represented the first male college students to be housed on campus.

The first male graduates of Seton Hill College “boldly go where no man has gone before.”

1987/9th President


Seton Hill installs JoAnne Woodyard Boyle as the College’s ninth president. A 1957 graduate of Seton Hill, member of the English faculty, and English department chair, JoAnne’s presidency would be marked by unprecedented growth and transformation. The longest serving president in Seton Hill history, the college achieved university status, became coeducational and developed partnerships with the City of Greensburg and LECOM during her tenure.

Sr. Gemma Del Duca and Sr. Mary Noel Kernan (pictured with Bishop Anthony Bosco) establish the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE).

JoAnne Woodyard Boyle

“Reflection upon the Shoah … impels us to promote the necessary historical and religious studies on this event which concerns the whole of humanity today.”

- Pope John Paul II

Sr. Lois Sculco, who helped administer the Holocaust Center, took students on a March of Remembrance trip to study the Holocaust.

1987/Pan Am Flight 103

1989/Princess Diana

The terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland claimed the lives of Beth Ann Johnson and Elyse Saraceni, two Seton Hill students who were returning from a semester studying abroad. Beth Ann and Elyse are remembered in many ways, including through endowed scholarships started in their memory.

Alumna Dr. Margaret Heagarty ’57, a pioneer in pediatric AIDS treatment, gives Princess Diana a tour of Harlem Children’s Hospital, bringing worldwide attention to the plight of HIV-infected babies.

Beth Ann Johnson

Elyse Saraceni

1989/Women in Science Day Sr. Margaret Burns, professor of math, computer science and general physics, initiates the school’s first Women in Science Day in 1989, to encourage, and acknowledge, talented local female high school students with an interest in the sciences. Attendance has grown to more than 100 young women each year. Sr. Margaret Burns

1990s 1992/David McCullough

1992/Women’s History Center

Pulitzer Prize winning author and Pittsburgh native David McCullough visits Seton Hill for a lecture and book signing.

The Folklife Documentation Center for America’s Industrial Heritage was established at Seton Hill. Director Christine Mueseler gathered the oral histories of women in the glass, aluminum and coal industries. The histories are archived at the Smithsonian.

Christine Mueseler

David McCullough

1992/Entrepreneurship With a $5 million grant from the Small Business Administration, Seton Hill opens the National Education Center for Women in Business, integrating entrepreneurship throughout the Seton Hill curriculum and providing support for women business owners. The Center was led for several years by Barbara Mistick.

Barbara Mistick

1994/Amazon, Inc. is founded on July 5, 1994.

1995/Graduate Programs

1997/National Accreditation

Seton Hill College offers graduate programs for the first time in its history. Three new graduate programs are offered including a Master of Arts in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Art Therapy.

1996/Ethel LeFrak Ethel LeFrak receives an honorary degree from Seton Hill. LeFrak later received the Elizabeth Ann Seton Woman of Courage Award. She also endowed the Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference at Seton Hill.

The PA program was co-developed by Dr. Steven Bassett and Dr. Bernadette Fondy.

Ethel LeFrak

Seton Hill’s Physician Assistant Program receives national accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. The nationally recognized program, which allows students to earn a Master of Science Degree or a combination bachelor’s and master’s degree, would admit its first students in 1998. Seton Hill alumna Constance Angotti Salvitti and her husband, E. Ronald Salvitti, M.D., provide the start-up funds for the program.

1997/Frank McCourt

1998/Achieving the Dream

Frank McCourt, author of “Angela’s Ashes,” lectures at Seton Hill.

Christine Toretti, Maureen O’Brien and Christine Delegram Farrell serve as co-chairs of the Achieving the Dream Campaign, which provides funds for student scholarships, the renovation of the Administration Building and endowment.

1998/Dalai Lama

Frank McCourt

Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, visits Seton Hill in November for a series of four public lectures and a reception for faculty, staff and students. Chamu Namasivayam, a philosophy professor who worked for seven years to make the event a reality, died a few months prior to the visit.

Mr. Rogers and the Dalai Lama at Seton Hill.

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood.”

- (Mister) Fred Rogers as he introduced the Dalai Lama

1999/Mary Ellen Lawrie Cooney-Higgins Mary Ellen Lawrie Cooney-Higgins ‘64 donates the first $1 million gift from an alumna in Seton Hill’s history to support the Achieving the Dream: Endowment and Capital Campaign.

Mary Ellen Lawrie Cooney-Higgins

1999/Bicentennial Seton Hill celebrates Greensburg’s bicentennial by honoring distinguished Greensburg residents, including Anne Robertshaw, Captain George Byers Dom, Edward Hutchinson and John Robertshaw Jr., at commencement.

1999/Master of Arts Seton Hill introduces a new Master of Arts in writing popular fiction (WPF), one of the first programs of its kind, which combines extensive online writing assignments and mentoring by faculty and published authors. Students enroll from all corners of the nation and congregate twice a year during two intensive on-campus residencies.

2000s 2001/Administration Building Reopens The 112-year-old Administration Building re-opens after three years of extensive renovations. The newly refurbished building now accommodates growing enrollment, new programs, and technology-enhanced learning environments. During the project, the beloved Victorian parlors are restored to their original grandeur, and eleven new classrooms and seminar rooms were constructed. The project, which is funded by Seton Hill’s first eight-figure capital campaign, Achieving the Dream, includes the addition of air conditioning and the building’s first-ever elevator.

2000/Mitch Albom

Archways in Admin

Sports columnist and “Tuesdays with Morrie” author Mitch Albom speaks and holds a book signing.

Updating the Rose Windows in St. Joseph Chapel

2001/Corinne “Lindy” Boggs Corinne “Lindy” Claiborne Boggs, the first female U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, was honored with the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal during the grand opening of the Administration Building. Corinne “Lindy” Claiborne Boggs

2001/Lech Walesa

2002/It’s Official!

Nobel Peace Prize winner, founder of the Solidarity Movement and first democratically elected president of Poland, Lech Walesa arrives on-campus and addresses a crowd of nearly 1,000 people that greeted him with a thunderous standing ovation for several minutes.

In 2002, Seton Hill College is granted University status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and becomes Seton Hill University, a name and status that represents the fearless enterprise that the Sisters of Charity first began in 1918 and marks the beginning of an era of significant growth and expansion.

2001/Frances Mayes “Under the Tuscan Sun” author Frances Mayes lectures at Seton Hill.

Lech Walesa with Seton Hill students.

Frances Mayes

2002 Fall/Winter Cover of the Seton Hill Forward Publication


2002/Richard Picciotto

In a major step forward, Seton Hill opens all of its degree programs to male students and officially becomes a co-educational institution on July 1, 2002. The University introduces its first male sports, golf and soccer, and its new mascot, the Griffin, in the fall of 2002. The Seton Hill community votes to make the Griffin the University’s mascot after a contest on campus narrowed the choices down to three. The Griffin is designed by Stephen Turk ’02.

New York City Fire Department Battalion Commander Richard Picciotto visits to tell his story of surviving the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Richard Picciotto

“Over and over the comment that you hear about our alums is that they are visionary women. They’re pragmatic women. And I’d say that describes the graduate of Seton Hill, she’s pragmatic and she’s thinking ahead. Now, I’m happy to be able to say he and she are pragmatic and they are thinking ahead.” - JoAnne Boyle

2002/Lesley Stahl

2004/Family Therapy

CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl shared some of her most interesting reporting memories during a visit to campus.

Seton Hill moves “off the Hill” for the first time, with the opening of the Seton Hill University Center for Family Therapy in downtown Greensburg. The Center, which is staffed by licensed clinical faculty and graduate students of Seton Hill’s Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program, provides individual, couple and family counseling services for the community on a sliding-scale basis.

2004/Farrell Hall Lesley Stahl

2003/Dave Barry Miami Herald humor columnist Dave Barry discussed topics from politics to his rock band while at Seton Hill.

The first suite-style residence hall on campus, Farrell Hall, named for former President Eileen Farrell, opens.

2004/McKenna Recreation Center

2005/DeChantal Hall

The McKenna Recreation Center, which features a new gymnasium and workout facilities, opens thanks to the generosity of the McKenna Foundation.

DeChantal Hall, another suite-style residence hall, opens. The building is named for Sr. M. DeChantal Leis, former Dean of Students and the first Alumnae Director, known as “Dish.�

2005/University Football

2009/Performing Arts Center

The University adds football to its roster of sports and gains national attention.

Seton Hill’s Performing Arts Center, the first building the university constructed in downtown Greensburg, opens. The Center houses facilities for music, theater and dance and fulfills a dream that began in 1919. Designed to complement the historic architecture of the surrounding buildings, the Center also serves as a milestone to an historic partnership between the City of Greensburg and the University.

M O N D A Y, J U LY 1 0 , 2 0 0 6

Small Colleges, Short of Men, Embrace Football


Performing Arts Center is Jewel of New District

2008/LeFrak Conference In December, Ethel LeFrak of New York, N.Y., donates $750,000 to the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education to endow The Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference and create The Ethel LeFrak Student Scholars of the Holocaust Fund. The Conference attracts prominent speakers and scholars, such as Rabbi Dr. Irving “Yitz” Greenberg, co-founder with Elie Wiesel of the Zachor Holocaust Resource Center.

JoAnne Boyle with “Captain Jack Sparrow” and Rick Sebak at the Grand Opening of the Performing Arts Center.

2009/LECOM Partnership The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine opens a new medical school site (LECOM at Seton Hill) on Seton Hill’s campus, and welcomes its first class of 109 future doctors. This partnership opens up an opportunity for Seton Hill students to go from “high school to med school” all on one campus. The LECOM program allows qualified high school graduates entering Seton Hill to receive a guaranteed spot at LECOM at Seton Hill and provides them with an opportunity to earn their bachelor’s and medical degrees in seven years instead of the typical eight. Dr. Alexandria Boley (pictured) is the first alumna.

2009/Wukich Center Trustee Daniel J. Wukich makes a $1 million leadership commitment to enhance the University’s programs in business. Soon after, the University creates the Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities (Wukich CEO), which provides special services and programs to prepare students with the entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed in an evolving global market. Wukich also makes a $1 million gift to enhance the University’s programs in the health sciences.

2010s 2010/iPad Under the leadership of Provost Mary Ann Gawalek, Seton Hill becomes the first university in the world to provide full-time students and faculty the just-released iPad and MacBooks. Seton Hill’s pioneering stance on the use of this new mobile technology for teaching and learning prompts national recognition, including a featured spot in an educational video created by Apple and pieces on Good Morning America, National Public Radio and in the New York Times.

2010/All Steinway School Seton Hill receives All Steinway School status, one of 150 institutions worldwide with the distinction, thanks to the generosity of longtime faculty members Gene and Iva Saraceni. Seton Hill is one of about 150 institutions to receive this distinction worldwide. Seton Hill’s concert grand piano, which graces the stage of the Carol Ann Reichgut Concert Hall, is signed by world-renowned concert pianist Lang Lang.

2010/Open Doors The Seton Hill University Center for Orthodontics opens its doors to community clients and to dentists studying to become orthodontists. The Center aligns with Seton Hill’s mission of serving the underserved. It is the first stand-alone orthodontics program (not connected to a school of dentistry) in the country to be accredited.

2013/Kristie Quigley The Seton Hill community suffered the tragic loss of women’s lacrosse coach Kristie Quigley, her unborn son, Jackson, and bus driver Anthony Guaetta when the team bus crashed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Seton Hill continues to honor Kristie through community events.

2013/Pope Francis Kristie Quigley

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is elected March 13, 2013.

2013/Health Sciences

2014/10th President

The Richard King Mellon Foundation—a friend and benefactor of Seton Hill for more than 50 years—awards a $7 million grant toward the construction costs of the new JoAnne Woodyard Boyle Health Sciences Center. The gift is the largest ever received in Seton Hill’s history.

After a national search, Mary C. Finger becomes the tenth president of Seton Hill. Under her leadership, Seton Hill has opened new and renovated facilities and forged partnerships resulting in new academic programs.

2013/Interim President Bibiana Boerio serves as interim president following the retirement of JoAnne Boyle.

Mary C. Finger

2013/Google Google announces fully autonomous vehicles.

“Seton Hill University has successfully met many challenges that the great majority of private colleges and universities in the United States are facing with creativity and a deep commitment to the mission. I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as President of Seton Hill.” - Mary C. Finger

2015/New Buildings The University opens two new buildings – the JoAnne Woodyard Boyle Health Sciences Center on campus and the Seton Hill Arts Center in downtown Greensburg. The Health Sciences Center features state-of-the-art technology and equipment, laboratories, and classrooms for Seton Hill’s health and natural sciences programs including physician assistant, nutrition and dietetics, exercise science, forensic science, chemistry, and biology. The Arts Center houses dance and visual arts programs and is a capstone to a decade-long partnership with the City of Greensburg to build and expand its cultural district in the downtown area.

2015/Father Patrick Desbois

2016/Academic Innovation

Noted Holocaust Scholar Father Patrick Desbois lectures on the “Holocaust By Bullets” as part of the LeFrak Conference at Seton Hill.

Under the leadership of new Provost Sister Susan Yochum, Seton Hill opens the Office of Academic Innovation and Planning to create new academic programs and partnerships that help students gain the skills needed to fill the region’s workforce needs.


2017/Pittsburgh Penguins The Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup against the Nashville Predators.

Sr. Susan Yochum

The college expands its health sciences partnerships by signing two cooperative agreements with Salus University, allowing Seton Hill students to continue their studies in audiology and optometry.

2017/Lowe Dining Hall Renovations For the first time since its construction nearly a century ago, Seton Hill renovates Lowe Dining Hall to accommodate expanding student enrollment and increased resident students. The University maintains the historic integrity and iconic look by preserving and restoring its terrazzo floors, adding storm protection to the century old windows, and restoring the stenciled painting on the ceiling. The project adds a new servery and bakery and expands the kitchen.

2018/100th Class

2018/Centennial Wall

The Class of 2018 graduates – the 100th class in Seton Hill history. Following 100 years of tradition, the class selects a banner to represent them. The Class of 2018 chose a design by class member Kristen Barczynski.

Barbara Kerestes Martin ‘80, owner of KMA Designs, donated the design of a historic wall on the second floor of the Administration Building celebrating Seton Hill’s Centennial.

2018/Centennial Logo Breanna Kelly ‘16 designed the Centennial Logo to be used throughout the celebration. The motto, “100 Years Forward,” was selected in a survey of alumni and students.



Elizabeth Skeehan Lesquin ‘29 wrote these words nearly 90 years ago, and they remain equally poignant today for Seton Hill’s men and women:

“ We learned to discipline the mind, to appreciate the body, to rejoice in heart, to soar in spirit. Through guidance and example, we experienced—and I hope assimilated—the graces of courtesy, consideration, kindness, compassion. We are proud to be alumnae of Seton Hill.”

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Seton Hill University 100 Years Forward  

Seton Hill University Centennial Magazine

Seton Hill University 100 Years Forward  

Seton Hill University Centennial Magazine