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Hannah Jane Patterson, Class of 1901, became one of Wilson's most famous and distinguished alumnae for her work in the women's suffrage movement and in the national government during World War I. From 1910 until the outbreak of war, Miss Patterson worked for the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association, organizing the drive to add a suffrage amendment to the state constitution. In 1915 she became the corresponding secretary for the National American Woman Suffrage Association under president Carrie Chapman Catt. When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, Miss Patterson joined the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense, headed by Anna Howard Shaw, to organize and coordinate the war work of American women. In 1918 she became resident director of the Woman's Committee and for her wartime services was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by President Wilson.
Miss Patterson's father had been a banker, and she studied finance at Columbia University after graduating from Wilson. With this background, she used her skills to head the women's department of the Pittsburgh brokerage firm of J.Y. Holmes & Company, and became director of the West Newton bank where her father had served as president. She died in 1937.