Over forty years ago, Duquesne University stood on the brink of financial disaster. Low-cost competition, overwhelming debt, meager endowments and spiraling inflation left administrators with two choices: raise tuition beyond the means of most students, or close the doors. At many schools, students would have risen up in anger. After all, this was 1970. The prevailing sentiment among many young people was to question authority and blame “the establishment.”
Duquesne students harnessed the activism of the age for good. They banded together, setting aside differences, united in believing that Duquesne was worth saving and they were just the people to do it. They pursued a Third Alternative, collecting door-to-door, calling thousands of alumni on the phone, selling raffle tickets at local parishes after Masses. In a matter of months they gained national attention and won community support, ultimately raising the funds needed to rescue Duquesne from insolvency. They marched 96 miles from Altoona to Pittsburgh and culminated their efforts with a rally drawing thousands to Point State Park—not in protest, but in thanks to the region for its support.The Young Alumni Council acknowledges this special group by continuing to support their efforts through the 3rd Alternative Scholarship fund. This endowment helps students who have a serious financial need to finish school but cannot do so without assistance. Join the Young Alumni Council in their efforts to ensure this legacy continues at Duquesne University.