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April 18, 2013

Commencement speaker named

Patrick GallagherAlumnus Patrick D. Gallagher, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will address Pitt’s commencement April 28.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in the Petersen Events Center.

Gallagher also serves as co-chair of the standards subcommittee under the White House National Science and Technology Council and as under secretary of commerce for standards and technology.

He earned his undergraduate degree in physics and philosophy from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., in 1985. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from Pitt  in 1987 and 1991.

Gallagher did postdoctoral research at Boston University before joining NIST in 1993 as a research physicist and instrument scientist at the NIST Center for Neutron Research, where his research interests included neutron and X-ray instrumentation and studies of soft condensed matter systems such as liquids, polymers and gels.


Pitt’s regional campuses hold their own commencement exercises each year.


Bradford native and venture capitalist George J. Still Jr. will address the graduating class of 2013 at Pitt-Bradford’s commencement.

The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, in the KOA Arena of the Sport and Fitness Center.

During his 29-year tenure in venture capital, Still has led investments in 45 early stage private companies. He was the sole venture investor in PeopleSoft, a human resource management system, and served on the company’s board of directors for more than 10 years. PeopleSoft grew from a start-up to a Standard & Poor’s 500-listed company that was acquired for more than $10 billion.


Kenneth Taylor, former Canadian ambassador to Iran during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, will be the speaker at Pitt-Greensburg’s commencement April 27.

During the crisis, Taylor and his staff gave refuge to six Americans at the Canadian Embassy. The story of how these six Americans escaped from Iran is told in “Argo,” which received the “Best Movie Cast” award at the Screen Actors Guild awards this year.

UPG’s ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on Ridilla Field.

Pitt Johnstown

Pitt-Johnstown’s commencement ceremony will be held April 27 at 1 p.m. in the Sports Center.

Rosie Perez, activist, Academy Award-nominated actress and Emmy-nominated choreographer, will speak at the ceremony.


Mary Jo White, former state senator, will present the address at Pitt-Titusville’s 17th annual commencement ceremony to be held April 27 at 2  p.m. in the J. Curtis McKinney Student Union.

White served in the Pennsylvania Senate for 12 years, retiring in 2012 after completing her third four-year term. In her first year in office, she was elected caucus administrator for the Republican majority, becoming the first woman ever elected to a Senate Republican leadership position.

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