Chatham University Eden Hall: A Sustainable Campus Community
I visited Chatham University (PA) a few years ago. That was shortly before the school opened Eden Hall, America’s first sustainable college campus. Located a half hour from Chatham’s main campus in Pittsburgh, Eden Hall is a living-learning community. Eden Hall is also host to unique bachelors and masters programs in Sustainability and Food Studies within Chatham’s Falk School of Sustainability and Environment.
Chatham might be the only university that has a rural campus and a well preserved urban campus community.
Chatham’s original campus, is located in Shadyside, one of the more well-to-do neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Choose Chatham, and this campus, and chances are you that you can live in a former mansion from the Gilded Age. I updated my Chatham University Pinterest page so you can see both campuses. This is one school that shows well on any tour, in-person or virtual.
Once a women’s college that had seen its undergrad enrollment drop to 500 students, Chatham’s decisions to go co-ed for bachelors programs and develop Eden Hall helped to nearly triple the size of the undergraduate student body.
This fall, Chatham University plans to welcome 400 freshmen. The university is also home to 1,000 graduate students, some who live and/or study at Eden Hall. Few schools this small will have as many majors and minors , integrated undergraduate/graduate programs and partnerships as Chatham. The university has had test optional admissions for some time. While Chatham loses about a fifth of a freshman class, two-thirds of the students who entered in 2013 graduated on time, the most recent year I could find available data. Now classified as a National Research University, Chatham ranked eighth among private institutions for Social Mobility.
Since I did not have the opportunity to visit Eden Hall in person during my last trip to Chatham, and could not visit in person this time, I asked Brian Dwyer, Assistant Director of Admissions, to talk with me about Eden Hall.
“Green living” and “green energy” are terms that I hear quite often from high school and college students. Visit almost any college and you will see a “green building” proudly pointed out on your tour. But Chatham University went further. It created green curricula as well as a place for students to do hands-on research. Chatham University is not the only small school where you can get first hand exposure to agricultural and environmental issues. But it might be the only one where you can be exposed to them in urban and rural settings. You could go to a school such as Rutgers or Ohio State to get similar experiences. But neither the resources nor the faculty will be as accessible as those as Chatham.
You can hear more about Eden Hall in my conversation with Brian Dwyer. I invite you to listen now.
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Listen to my talk, College Is A Learning AND Living Community, hosted by Dr. Cynthia Colon from Destination YOUniversity on Voice of America Radio!
Listen to my talk, What Exactly Is a Good College? hosted by test-prep experts Amy Seeley and Mike Bergin on Tests And The Rest!