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February 23, 2012

University kicks off 225th anniversary celebration

225This year’s honors convocation, set for 3 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 24, in Carnegie Music Hall, will double as the formal kick-off for a months-long celebration of the 225th anniversary of the University’s 1787 founding.

The “225 Years of Building Better Lives” celebration, which runs though homecoming in October, includes a 225th anniversary web site (, accessible from the Pitt home page. The site features some 225 of the most notable events and accomplishments in Pitt’s history, a stream of new stories and celebration highlights throughout the year and a repository for upcoming anniversary activities. It also includes a 225-year timeline, downloadable historical photos and a feature that allows alumni and friends to share personal memories of their Pitt experiences, among many features.

In addition, the web site serves as a calendar for “225 Acts of Caring,” a list of community volunteer and outreach activities.

Concurrent with the University-wide celebration, the University Honors College (UHC) is holding a day-long forum on Feb. 25 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its founding. The forum, which will run 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. in Bellefield Hall, will include a series of presentations as well as musical interludes.

“We are proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Honors College,” said Provost Patricia E. Beeson. “It is fitting that we do so in conjunction with this year’s special honors convocation on Founders Day, which observes the 225th anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh. The Honors College was dedicated on Pitt’s Bicentennial Founders Day in 1987 as a way of highlighting the values held throughout the University.”

UHC alumni and Pitt faculty and students will deliver remarks on the spirit and ideals for which UHC has stood in promoting high-quality undergraduate education.

For more information and the schedule of presentations, visit

The University Library System is getting into the 225 spirit by displaying the front pages of the original charters establishing Pitt’s forerunners, The Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 and the Western University of Pennsylvania in 1819. The charter pages, which were borrowed from the Pennsylvania State Archives, will be on display Feb. 27-May 18 on the ground floor of Hillman Library, together with a larger exhibit on Pitt’s history. Images of the charters are posted on the digital library web site:

—Peter Hart

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