Thyrsa W. Amos
Amos at her desk in Heinz House, c. 1920.
|Occupation||Dean of Women at the University of Pittsburgh|
|Known for||Lambda Sigma, Student personnel|
Thyrsa Wealtheow Amos (1879 in Indiana – 5 May 1941) was the Dean of Women and Professor of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, from 1919 to 1941. She was the founder and First President of the Pennsylvania Association of Deans of Women, the founder of the Society of Cwens, and the President of the National Association of Deans of Women (NADW). Her main area of interest was in student personnel, especially for women.She was also a member of the American Association of University Women.
Amos Hall, an all-female residence hall at Schenley Quadrangle that houses nine sororities, is named after her. It was dedicated to Amos on June 9, 1961.
Her father was Joseph B Amos, who lived in Indiana. She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology in 1917 and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Mental Testing, and Educational Measurements in 1919, both at the University of Kansas. Her Master's thesis was titled "High School Normal Training as Preparation for Rural Teaching".
She visited Howard University during the 1924-5 school year to attend meetings and give talks to the female students.
She is buried at the Fairview Shawnee Cemetery in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma.
The Office of Dean of Women was created at a select number of established universities in the early 1900s to ensure that, outside the classroom, experiences of female students complimented their overall academic success. Amos was Dean of Women from 1919 to 1941.
The original office for the Dean of Women and other women's organizations was in Heinz House, a one-story wooden building north of Alumni Hall (now known as Eberly Hall) that was built in 1919.In 1924, Heinz House was closed, and all offices were moved to the Cathedral of Learning.
Her office moved to the twelfth floor of the Cathedral of Learning. The office space on the twelfth floor was still unfinished when Dan Amos died in 1941. The Alumnae Association created the Thyrsa W. Amos Fund to plaster the walls and to furnish Room 1217 in her name. Room 1217 was never finished, but after World War II the other rooms on the twelfth floor were completed including the Braun room which served as a meeting space for women students.
Mrs. A. E. Braun donated the furnishings and floral carved mahogany wood paneling which she had purchased in 1941 from the library of the home of Grant McCargo in the East End of Pittsburgh. The Braun Room was dedicated in 1946 and serves, along with its furniture, as an example of a modern reproduction of Louis XV design. Original blue carpeting was replaced in 1955 with an oriental rug, named "The Iron Rug of Persia", that was donated by the daughter and son-in-law of A. E. Braun. Other features of the room include a low bookcase, bordered and topped with classic carving, that was crafted by university carpenters to replace the original fireplace whose inclusion was impractical on the 12th floor, along with two crystal drop chandeliers.
Dean Helen Pool Rush and her successor, Dean Savina Skewis, carried on the traditions of Dean Amos until the Dean of Women's Office was closed in 1969, and its functions and quarters were assumed by other departments.
Amos was an important influence in making mentoring, instead of hazing, the focus of women's organizations on campus.
In the early 1920s, Dean Thyrsa Amos saw the need for a society for outstanding sophomore women, as the University of Pittsburgh had recently started the Society of Druids for sophomore men. On 7 November 1922, twelve sophomore women responded to invitations and met at Heinz House, electing to found a society to sponsor activities for all freshmen and sophomore women and to "select for membership in the spring those freshman women who displayed the finest Pitt spirit, showed good scholarship and expressed interest in activities through fine participation in them".The society was named Cwens, from the word cwēn , meaning "lady" or "queen" in Anglo-Saxon. The emblem selected was a golden crown resting upon a sceptre.
In 1975, the Title IX Education Amendments mandated the abolishment of single-sex organizations in institutions of higher learning.In October 1975, Cwens chapter presidents gave authority to the National Executive Board to disband the society and to formulate plans for a national sophomore honor society for both men and women. The National Board disbanded the National Society of Cwens, founding the Lambda Sigma Society as a direct descendant on 6 March 1976.
The University of Scranton is a private Jesuit university in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1888 by William O'Hara, the first Bishop of Scranton, as St. Thomas College. In 1938, the college was elevated to university status and took the name The University of Scranton. The institution was operated by the Diocese of Scranton from its founding until 1897. While the Diocese of Scranton retained ownership of the university, it was administered by the Lasallian Christian Brothers from 1888 to 1942. In 1942, the Society of Jesus took ownership and control of the university. During the 1960s, the university became an independent institution under a lay Board of Trustees.
The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is a public research university in Greeley, Colorado. The university was founded in 1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado and has a long history in teacher education. Approximately 12,000 students are enrolled in six colleges. Extended campus locations in are in Loveland, Denver, and Colorado Springs. UNC’s 19 athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I athletics.
The Cathedral of Learning is a building that serves as the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh's (Pitt) main campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Standing at 535 feet (163 m), the 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere and the second-tallest university building in the world, after the main building of Moscow State University. It is also the second-tallest gothic-styled building in the world. The Cathedral of Learning was commissioned in 1921 and ground was broken in 1926 under general contractor Stone & Webster. The first class was held in the building in 1931 and its exterior finished in October 1934, prior to its formal dedication in June 1937. It is a Pittsburgh landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Alpha Lambda Delta is an honor society for students who have achieved a 3.5 GPA or higher and are in the top 20% of their class during their first year or term of higher education.
High Point University is a private liberal arts university in High Point, North Carolina. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded as High Point College in 1924, it became High Point University in October 1991. HPU offers 47 undergraduate majors, 51 undergraduate minors and 12 graduate-degree majors.
Edinboro University is a public university in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. It is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It has more than 4,600 enrolled students spread between the main campus and the Porreco College in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Marietta College is a private liberal arts college in Marietta, Ohio. The college offers more than 50 majors. Its campus encompasses approximately three city blocks next to downtown Marietta and enrolls 1,200 full-time students.
Sigma Lambda Alpha Sorority, Inc. (ΣΛΑ) is an American Latina based Greek-lettered sorority of college-educated women. Sigma Lambda Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded in the summer of 1992, at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas by Angeles Gonzalez and the help of five other young women.
Lambda Kappa Sigma is an international pharmacy fraternity headquartered in Muskego, Wisconsin. Founded in 1913, it was created to promote the profession of pharmacy among women and advance women within the profession. LKS is the oldest and largest professional pharmacy fraternity for women in the world. Lambda Kappa Sigma has initiated more than 30,000 members and has 44 chartered chapters. LKS also has 36 chartered alumni groups internationally.
Schenley Quadrangle is a cluster of University of Pittsburgh residence halls that is a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark and are contributing properties to the Schenley Farms National Historic District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.
George Hubbard Clapp Hall is a contributing property to the Schenley Farms National Historic District on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The six-story Gothic Revival structure, designed by Trautwein & Howard, was completed in 1956 and serves as the primary facility of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences. It contains laboratories, classrooms, a greenhouse, and an amphitheater-style lecture hall with 404 seats.
Waynesburg University is a private university in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations, and enrolls over 2,500 students, including approximately 1,800 undergraduates.
Lambda Sigma (ΛΣ) is an American college honor society for second-year students. Originally named the Society of Cwens, the society was established at the University of Pittsburgh in Fall 1922 as a women's honors society, and became a national organization with the 1925 foundation of chapters at Miami University and the University of Missouri. The society is "dedicated to the purpose of fostering leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and the spirit of service among college students, and to promoting the interests of the college or university in every possible way".
The Association for Women in Communications (AWC) is an American professional organization for women in the communications industry.
Fraternities and sororities at University of Virginia, include the collegiate organizations on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. First founded in the 1850s with the establishment of a number of fraternities, the system has since expanded to include sororities, professional organizations, service fraternities, honor fraternities, and cultural organizations. Fraternities and sororities have been significant to the history of the University of Virginia, including the founding of two national fraternities Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ) and Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ).
Thyrsa Anne Frazier Svager was an American academic who was one of the first African-American women to gain a PhD in mathematics. Born in Ohio, she graduated from high school at the age of 16, going to Antioch College in Ohio and then doing her postgraduate degrees at Ohio State University. Frazier Svager was the head of the Department of Mathematics at Central State University (CSU) in Ohio for decades, ending her academic career as provost and dean for academic affairs. She and her husband, physics professor Aleksandar Svager, invested one of their salaries during their careers to build a legacy for scholarships. After her death, the Thyrsa Frazier Svager Fund was established to provide scholarships for African-American women majoring in mathematics.
Adele Hagner Stamp (1893–1974) was the first dean of women at the University of Maryland, College Park and later named dean of women emeritus from the University Board of Regents. In 1990 she was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame. In 1983, the University of Maryland named the student union building in her honor.