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October 26, 2000

Donors invited to campus for up-close look at Pitt

Pitt targeted about 20,000 donors and potential donors to invite to the Discovery Weekend events, which the University is offering free-of-charge. About 1,500 accepted the invitation.

According to Carol A. Carter, "We like to get the donors closer to campus to see the academic programs, and see students and faculty interact, to get a tangible sense of what they're giving to." Carter is Pitt's vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement.

The weekend will feature a group of distinguished alumni visiting campus. Also part of the weekend's events are a state-of-the-University address by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, dinners at nearby locations, special on-campus meals, a laser show and educational presentations by Pitt faculty.

Tickets are required for all Discovery Weekend events, except the on-campus presentations of two alumni, Pat Croce, president, Philadelphia 76ers (Oct. 27, 10 a.m. at 121 Lawrence Hall), and Mike Ditka, CBS football analyst (Oct. 27, noon at 121 Lawrence Hall).

Croce and Ditka will be among 33 alumni sharing their experiences, accomplishments and advice with current students. The alumni are the inaugural class of Legacy Laureates, a new program developed to honor alums for their personal and career achievements. They will be recognized at a ceremony on Friday.

Members of the group represent an array of disciplines, including business, medicine, journalism, law, government, sports, social services, education and the arts. (See page 6.) Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said the Legacy Laureates program is based on the belief that there can be no better role models for students than alumni who have been successful in their chosen fields.

"One of the most important lessons we can share with our students involves the importance of setting and striving to achieve personal goals. These laureates can serve as living examples to our students of the potential for excellence that exists within our University community," Nordenberg said.

The Legacy Laureates program will be an annual activity, with new members to be inducted each year.

"We will build on the foundation of achievement represented by our inaugural members in recognizing future Legacy Laureates and in continuing to foster a culture of success for all those who receive an education at the University of Pittsburgh," Nordenberg said.

The formal induction ceremony Oct. 27 will be followed by the weekend's keynote address by the chancellor.

Also on Friday, deans will co-host dinners for their school's alumni at nearby private homes.

Participants will return to campus after dinner to hear the political humor of comedian/impressionist Jim Morris.

A special buffet will cap off the Oct. 27 events, with a signature dessert created for the occasion by Pitt alumnus Ferdinand Metz, president of the Culinary Institute of America.

The Oct. 28 events include informal informational presentations sponsored by several Pitt schools. There are more than 40 subjects ranging from e-commerce to bioterrorism, from virtual art museum tours to gamma knife radiosurgery, from human genetics to computer engineering.

The Saturday itinerary also includes a multi-media event to announce the official launch of the campaign, complete with music, film, theatre, jazz, song and comedy. Marvin Hamlisch, director of the Pittsburgh Pops Orchestra, and Pitt's Nathan Davis, professor of music, composed scores for the occasion.

Discovery Weekend co-chairs, University trustees Suzanne Broadhurst and Cynthia Roth, will speak at the Oct. 28 campaign launching, along with Board of Trustees chair J. W. Connolly. Others on the bill include Chancellor Nordenberg, theatre department chair Buck Favorini, the Pitt women's gymnastics team and Pitt alumna and local TV personality Mary Robb Jackson.

A buffet on the Cathedral of Learning lawn and laser show illuminating the Cathedral will cap off the weekend's events.

–Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 33 Issue 5

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