The Third Alternative: The Oral History of Duquesne University's Third AlternativeMain MenuThe NarratorsMeet the interviewees behind the Third Alternative Oral History Project.The ProblemA brief history of Duquesne's financial crisis.The PlanHow the Third Alternative planned to save Duquesne.The ContextThe national events taking place during the Third Alternative's campaign and how they affected the movement.The PublicHow the public of Pittsburgh interacted with and helped the Third Alternative.The EffectThe impact the Third Alternative left on Duquesne.Neighborhood CanvassingA timeline of the Third Alternative canvassing campaign.MapsMaps relating to the Thank You March and events at Duquesne University during the Third Alternative.The InterviewersMeet the students behind the Third Alternative Oral History Project.MediaCheck out our photograph collection and our documentary!Alexandra Zaremba2ce33ac8d647e2cc48718f436f303eaaa6355ceeRonald Owensaaa9113bde590a7c6854e4725baae71951e3aa5fGrant Stoner3ba49a95660aa18855c7cc5b6f8323bd1559c039Katherine Millardcc2b6742e9253dd1ad65ec8397845ff983008eb3Anna Samuels3cffb72092034ddc575aeb5ac3c9bf5d3f493c74Celia Phillips64f1bafd9e2ec54881e7e3a41417ecf15c8f4e1cLauren Eisenhart-Purvisce45d8431788bb04d876eaa4210e612cb18c860aEvan Daverio15eb18d2fdf506be557957b6adfa91b111c1b87d
The Context: Lorraine Heidekat
12017-12-13T05:19:10-08:00Lauren Eisenhart-Purvisce45d8431788bb04d876eaa4210e612cb18c860a258541Lorraine Heidekat talks about the grassroots nature of the Third Alternative.plain2017-12-13T05:19:10-08:00Lauren Eisenhart-Purvisce45d8431788bb04d876eaa4210e612cb18c860a
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1media/Students Signing up to Join what would become the 3rd Alt-from Rita.jpgmedia/Students Signing up to Join what would become the 3rd Alt-from Rita.jpg2017-12-05T17:21:58-08:00The Context41The national events taking place during the Third Alternative's campaign and how they affected the movement.image_header2017-12-15T08:58:27-08:00On May 4, 1970, students at Kent State were fired upon by members of the National Guard after they gathered to protest the expansion of United States military operations in Cambodia. Nine individuals were wounded during the thirteen-second barrage and four lost their lives. The Kent State massacre sparked a new and violent wave of college campus protests across the United States. Buildings were taken over or damaged, school property was defaced, and administrators were forced to resign. In contrast to these student activist groups, students of the Third Alternative at Duquesne dedicated themselves to saving their institution from financial collapse.
The residents of Pittsburgh, aware of and angry with the protest wave, warmly received the Third Alternative, which was perceived as a positive counter to the negative student protests. Numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, highlighted the fundraising efforts. They declared that Duquesne University students were prime examples of appropriate behavior during tumultuous times. Alumni and community donors took note of the overwhelming positivity surrounding the Third Alternative and encouraged others to donate to a good cause. Participating members of the Third Alternative did not wish to be labeled as the “good ones.” Many attended anti-war rallies and even vocally opposed the Nixon presidency. The efforts to save Duquesne University were local. But many students were aware of and interacted with the national counter-culture that developed in response to national and international events.
The Third Alternative presented their campaign as a beacon of positivity and donors supported them largely because of that. Thus, Duquesne remained open and remains open to this day. However, one cannot assume that the students involved in the Third Alternative were opposed to the causes of the era, or, at the very least, blissfully unaware of them. Rather, the students of the Third Alternative reacted to a local issue that directly affected their daily lives while remaining keenly aware of events in the world around them.