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Third Alternative Collection

 Record Group
Identifier: MSS UNIV RG 48/7

Scope and Contents

The records of the Third Alternative cover the years between 1968 and 1971. The collection consists of memorabilia, reports, ephemera, promotional materials, newspaper clippings, photographs, financial records, donation records, fund-raising materials, and correspondence.

The collection is arranged into seven series: Organization, Fund-raising, Promotion Records, Donations, Correspondence, McAnulty Correspondence, and Finances.

Weaknesses in the collection are the lack of organizational information as to how the group functions, no meeting minutes, and no original order.


  • 1968 - 1971

Biographical / Historical

Duquesne University was one of many private institutions facing financial difficulties in the late 1960s. The school’s deficit was over $5 million. The problem was addressed at the request of students working on the University Budget Committee. Father Henry J. McAnulty, president of Duquesne, gave a State of the University Address in April 1970 presenting the school’s two alternatives: to close down or raise tuition in order to maintain financial stability. Shortly following this speech, a group of 12 students formed the Third Alternative, with president Patrick Joyce and Student Congress president Rita Ferko. A co-chair of the committee was Leonard Staisey, the County Commissioner.

The Third Alternative issued a student operated fund-raising campaign. In December 1970, the Richard King Mellon Foundation offered a challenge grant, offering to pledge $1 million if the Third Alternative raised an equal amount. The organization received publicity through donations from ad campaigns, public service announcements on radio and television, billboards, and a march. The students actively raised money through canvassing, a phonathon, scholarship raffle, and entertainment events. The fun-raising activities ended in April 1971 when the group met their goal.


2.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Transfer from the Third Alternative to Duquesne University Archives, date unknown.

Third alternative collection
an inventory of the records of the third alternative at Duquesne University
Bethany D. Mummert
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository