Pitt fundraising campaign tops $2 billion
University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said on Friday that the university's capital campaign has reached more than $2 billion.
The money will be used to construct buildings, fund research and pay for scholarships, Nordenberg told alumni, faculty and students at Alumni Hall during his homecoming address.
“However you measure it, this is a milestone moment in the long and proud history of the University of Pittsburgh,” Nordenberg told the crowd, which responded with a standing ovation.
Pitt officials first announced the “Building Our Future Together” campaign in 2000 with a goal of raising $500 million. By 2007, the goal had jumped to $2 billion.
To date, the campaign has raised $2.047 billion. The money has allowed the Pitt community to perform research in fields ranging from energy to medicine, as well as pay for expansion at all five campuses.
Pitt Trustee and alumnus Thomas Usher, chairman of Marathon Petroleum Corp. and retired chairman of U.S. Steel, chaired the campaign through the first $1 billion. Usher and his wife, Sandra, endowed the Sandra and Thomas Usher Chair in Melanoma.
The current campaign co-chairs are Pitt Trustee Eva Tansky Blum, senior vice president and director of community affairs for PNC Bank and president of The PNC Foundation; and her brother, Pitt Trustee Burton Tansky, retired president and CEO of The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc. Both alumni, their contributions to Pitt include a gift they made with their sister, Shirley Gordon, to name the Tansky Family Lounge in the William Pitt Union to honor their parents, Harry and Jeanette Tansky. The family also created the Tansky Family Fund to support Alzheimer's research.
“Pitt changed both our lives,” Eva Tansky said. “The opportunities it opened up, I never imagined possible.”
Campaign funds also led to the creation of the Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration, a joint program of UPMC Eye Center and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine of the University of Pittsburgh. It's named for the man who pledged $3 million to support it.
Fox, who has central retinal vein occlusion in both eyes, remains active in the center leadership.
“They are there to deal with ocular maladies and ophthalmological diseases people universally suffer,” said Fox, a 1964 Pitt alumnus and director of Seabridge Gold Inc. in Canada. “The concentration of the Fox Center is translational medicine — getting it from the research bench to the patient.”
Of the more than 182,000 donors who have made gifts to the campaign, nearly 88,000 are alumni. Support from private organizations accounted for about 60 percent of the total, including $641 million from foundations, $192.6 million from corporations and $366 million from other organizations. More than 300 people made gifts and pledges of $1 million or more, including 17 who made commitments of between $10 million and $25 million and 11 whose giving exceeded $25 million.
Construction projects completed thanks to the campaign include the John M. and Gertrude E. Petersen Events Center, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the William R. Baierl Student Recreation Center, the James J. and Helene Barco Duratz Football Complex, the John J. Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and the Petersen Sports Complex.
The university also restored and renovated buildings and repaired the exterior of the Cathedral of Learning. One gift included the Allen L. Cook Spring Creek Preserve, consisting of 6,000 acres of fossil-rich land in Wyoming.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Steelers offense learning to slam door
- Steelers-Bengals game to start at 8:30 p.m.
- Steelers clinch trip to postseason with big victory over Chiefs
- Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
- Heyward, swarming defense get best of Chiefs in Steelers’ win
- Pittsburgh mayor Peduto goes ‘Undercover’ for CBS reality show
- Missed chances haunt Chiefs against Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Gay respects ‘anything’ referees call
- Pittsburgh police doubling up on duty after potential threats
- Old-school booksellers learn to survive, thrive in digital age