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November 8, 2012

Trustees fund scholarship, name dorm in honor of chancellor


Stephen R. Tritch, chairperson of Pitt’s Board of Trustees, joins in the applause after the announcement that Pitt’s newest dormitory and a new undergraduate scholarship will be named in honor of Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.

Following nearly a year of secret fundraising, Pitt’s Board of Trustees has established a scholarship fund and named an undergraduate dormitory in honor of Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.

“It is not often that you can keep a secret from Mark. In this case, we’ve done it for nearly a year,” quipped trustee Sam S. Zacharias as he announced during the board’s Oct. 26 meeting that trustees and alumni have pledged $5.8 million to date in honor of Nordenberg’s “years of service to the University and this region, his record of achievement and commitment to the students throughout his distinguished career.”

The 10-story, 559-bed residence hall on University Place is scheduled to open next fall.

Zacharias said the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid would administer the scholarship fund.

Income from the fund will aid Pitt’s efforts “to recruit, enroll, retain and graduate highly motivated and academically superior undergraduate students,” he said.

Recipients of the merit-based scholarship awards will be known as Nordenberg Scholars. Contributions to the fund continue to be accepted.

Surrounded by family members who were escorted into the meeting just prior to the presentation, an emotional Nordenberg told the board, “When you made me the chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, you gave me the greatest professional gift that I ever could have hoped for. The job has been a perfect job for me. To be clear, I haven’t done it perfectly but I can’t imagine a more rewarding position.”

He added: “All of our successes are successes that we have built together. I have been blessed to work with some of the most wonderful people in the world. I have been happy almost every day in this job. The last two weeks have been full of special moments but this one tops them all.”

Nordenberg joined the Pitt law faculty in 1977, became dean of the law school in 1985 and was named interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs in 1993. He was named Distinguished Service Professor in 1994, interim chancellor in 1995, and in 1996 became the University’s 17th chancellor.

In 2005, trustees established the Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair to honor his 10 years of University leadership.

During the Oct. 26 meeting, Nordenberg surprised board members by having students present each of them with 225th anniversary medallions.  (See related story this issue.)

A committee had selected four Pitt alumni to receive the anniversary medallions during homecoming festivities. Nordenberg noted that board members likewise were deserving of the honor.

“In thinking about Pitt’s recent progress, it seemed no one had served a more sustained and central role in Pitt’s progress than the trustees,” he said.

“The committee and I decided that, given its role in building what some call the new University of Pittsburgh, no group was more deserving of collective recognition on Pitt’s 225th anniversary than our trustees.”

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 45 Issue 6

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