Obituary: Margaret L. Donaldson / Devoted to Chatham College more than 50 years
Friday, August 27, 2004

For more than half a century, Margaret L. "Peggy" Donaldson devoted herself to Chatham College, first as a student, then as an administrator, then as a fund-raiser and volunteer.

A 1944 graduate of the Squirrel Hill school, then called Pennsylvania College for Women, Ms. Donaldson was Chatham's director of admissions for nearly 30 years, and also served as director of community services and director of its annual fund.

Because of her work, she was named Distinguished Alumna in 1984, was given an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 1990 and the Trustee Award for Distinguished Service in 1999.

Ms. Donaldson, 82, of North Oakland, died Tuesday at UPMC Shadyside.

"Peggy Donaldson touched the lives of generations of Chatham women -- during her time as a student of Pennsylvania College for Women, as an alumna, an employee and leader, a volunteer and a dear friend," said Chatham President Esther L. Barazzone.

"Her dedication to and love for the college was immeasurable and her spirit will truly be missed by all."

Added Barbara Beacham Johnston, former president of the Chatham Alumnae Association: "I doubt that there is an alumna alive who doesn't know Peggy."

During her tenure as community services director, she helped start the Gateway Program, Chatham's continuing education initiative for nontraditional age women. As a fund-raiser following her retirement in 1989, she organized several events over the years including "An Evening With Scott and Zelda" at Mellon Hall, Andrew Mellon's former residence.

In addition to her work at Chatham, Ms. Donaldson was a charter member and first chairman of the board of the Executive Women's Council, as well as an advisory board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She also was a member of East Liberty Presbyterian Church.

She enjoyed politics and was a member of the League of Women Voters and the Pennsylvania Women's Political Caucus.

She also enjoyed playing golf and recently had been involved in raising funds for Chatham's new Athletic and Fitness Center.

Ms. Donaldson is survived by a brother, Dr. David H. Donaldson, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and a sister, Gretchen G. Donaldson, of North Oakland.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. today at John A. Freyvogel and Sons Funeral Home, 4900 Centre Ave., Shadyside.

Her family has requested that memorial contributions be made to the Athletic and Fitness Center at Chatham College, 106 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh 15232.

First published on August 27, 2004 at 12:00 am
Steve Twedt can be reached at or 412-263-1963.
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