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April 17, 2003

O’Neill to address commencement; 1st to be held in Petersen Center

The first Pitt commencement convocation to be held at the John M. and Gertrude E. Petersen Events Center will feature former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill.

O’Neill will deliver the commencement address, titled “New Directions: The Opportunity Ahead,” at the ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m., Sunday, April 27.

A special adviser since March to The Blackstone Group, a private investment bank, O’Neill was a member of the Pitt Board of Trustees from March 1988 to June 1991, serving on the academic affairs/libraries committee. He also has served as chair of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Board of Visitors.

In February, O’Neill was appointed to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Board of Directors as a member of its executive committee.

O’Neill was secretary of the U.S. Treasury from January 2001 to December 2002. Prior to joining the Bush administration, he was chief executive officer at Alcoa from June 1987 to May 1999 and chair of its board from 1987 until his retirement from that position in January 2001.

Before joining Alcoa, O’Neill was president of International Paper Co. from 1985 to 1987; he was vice president of that company from 1977 to 1985. Prior to those positions, O’Neill served as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Gerald Ford from 1974 until 1977.

O’Neill earned a B.A. in economics at Fresno State College in 1960 and a master’s of public administration at Indiana University in 1966.

University staff with degrees are invited to join in the procession of faculty and graduating students, but must register beforehand with the Office of Special Events and must wear academic regalia. Regalia is available at Pitt’s Book Center, 4000 Fifth Ave.; phone: 412/648-1455.

Since the Petersen Events Center holds fewer people than the Mellon Arena where recent commencement convocations have been held, tickets are required for graduates’ family and guests and limited to four tickets per graduate. Family and guests should enter through the lobby level entrance or through Concourse A. Doors to the center will open at 11:30 a.m.

For more information, contact Special Events at 412/624-7100.

—Peter Hart

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