Mark of excellence
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Who: Mark Nordenberg
Occupation: University of Pittsburgh chancellor
Influential because: Since 1995, he has been the chief executive officer of the region's largest university, which has nearly 25,000 undergraduate and more than 10,000 graduate students at the Pittsburgh campus and branches in Greensburg, Bradford, Johnstown and Titusville. Nordenberg oversees nearly 7,000 full-time employees.
Influential effect: Since Nordenberg became chancellor, full-time equivalent enrollment at Pitt has increased by more than 21 percent. Undergraduate admission applications rose from fewer than 8,000 to nearly 28,000 last fall. The average SAT score of first-year students has risen from just over 1,100 to nearly 1,300.
Influential upbringing: Nordenberg was born and raised in northern Minnesota, moving to Pittsburgh as a high school senior when his father, a U.S. Steel employee, was transferred here.
Influential education: Nordenberg graduated from North Allegheny High School, Thiel College and the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Influential family: Nordenberg has been married to Nikki Pirillo Nordenberg for more than 40 years. The couple has three adult children and three young grandsons.
Influential focus: Nordenberg told The Pitt News in 2012 that his priorities were the university and his family. “If you asked if I have any hobbies, I would say the answer to that question is no,” he said.
Influential outreach: Nordenberg has co-chaired a special legislative commission to study problems facing the state's urban schools; helped develop an action plan for regional workforce development; chaired a record-setting United Way campaign; and chaired a committee that examined Pittsburgh Public Schools leadership and governance issues. He also co-chaired Gov. Tom Corbett's education transition team and served on the Governor's Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Higher Education.
Influential tribute: In October, Pitt trustees disclosed that the university's new residence hall would bear Nordenberg's name. They also announced donors had contributed more than $5 million to create a scholarship fund named after the chancellor. Nordenberg also has an endowed faculty chair in his name.
Influential shoes to fill: Nordenberg plans to retire Aug. 1. A search committee of trustees, alumni, faculty and students is conducting a national search for his replacement.
— compiled by Trib Total Media staff
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