Margaret Morrison Carnegie College

Margaret Morrison Carnegie College

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Margaret Morrison Carnegie College (MMCC), was the women's college
Women's colleges in the United States
Women's colleges in the United States are single-sex U.S. institutions of higher education that exclude or limit males from admission. They are often liberal arts colleges...

 for Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States....

. It was founded in 1903 and opened its doors to students in 1906 as the Margaret Morrison Carnegie School for Women. The school was closed in 1973.

Founding and early history

MMCC was founded in 1903 as one of the four colleges of the Carnegie Institute of Technology
Carnegie Institute of Technology
The Carnegie Institute of Technology , is the name for Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering. It was first called the Carnegie Technical Schools, or Carnegie Tech, when it was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie who intended to build a “first class technical school” in Pittsburgh,...

 (CIT). Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

, the founder of CIT, named the college after his mother. MMCC's principal aim would be to train young women to earn their livelihood.

The curriculum in the first year included principles of science and economics, history, English, accounts, social ethics, sewing, drawing, cookery, and personal hygiene. In their second and third years, students could choose to specialize in secretarial courses, household arts and institutional management, technical dressmaking, costume design, applied design, or architectural and interior decoration.

Of the goals of the college, Eileen McConomy, steering committee chairperson of the MMCC Centennial, stated, "although some of the major disciplines available to us may seem archaic to current students, for our era they were relevant [...] our education was rigorous. Our women professors were the forerunners of the feminist movement and inspired us to take charge of our lives, to not be afraid to speak out for what we believed was right, and to demand excellence in all that we did."


Margaret Morrison Carnegie College closed in 1973 due to declining enrollment: "Entering on the coattails of the 1950s were societal and institutional changes that would ultimately seal the fate of MMCC. Homemaking was less apt to be considered a profession; women students were turning increasingly to careers based in the liberal arts and sciences. A steadily climbing enrollment in these fields led to the integration of many MMCC programs into Tech’s other schools."


The end of Margaret Morrison Carnegie College also marked the beginning of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Margaret Morrison Street runs through the west end of the campus. The Margaret Morrison Apartments and the Margaret Morrison Courtyard are located along the street. In 2006, a dining facility called the Maggie Murph Café was opened within Hunt Library, the main library at Carnegie Mellon University.

Notable alumnae

Alumnae of the college are known as Maggie Murphs. Stephanie Kwolek
Stephanie Kwolek
Stephanie Louise Kwolek is a Polish-American chemist who invented poly-paraphenylene terephtalamide—better known as Kevlar. She was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Kwolek has won numerous awards for her work in polymer chemistry.- Early life and education :Kwolek was...

, the inventor of Kevlar
Kevlar is the registered trademark for a para-aramid synthetic fiber, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed at DuPont in 1965, this high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires...

, graduated from Margaret Morrison Carnegie College in 1946 with a B.S. in General Science (Chemistry). Newbery Medal
Newbery Medal
The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association . The award is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The award has been given since 1922. ...

 winning-author E. L. Konigsburg
E. L. Konigsburg
Elaine Lobl Konigsburg is an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. She is one of five authors to win two Newbery Medals, awarded annually for one contribution to American children's literature.Her first two manuscripts were submitted to editor Jean E...

is a 1952 graduate of Margaret Morrison Carnegie College.

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