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May 2, 2002

Pitt re-names March holiday

There'll be no more complaints at Pitt about honoring "great Americans" with a holiday in March. The University officially has renamed its day off during spring recess, Spring Holiday.

Elizabeth Baranger, vice provost for Graduate Studies, said the name change is permanent. "The holiday will still be the Friday during spring recess," she said. Spring break falls each year in March.

Baranger chairs the Provost's academic calendar committee.

Barbara Mowery, president of the Staff Association Council (SAC) and SAC's representative on the Provost's academic calendar committee, said that staff supported the name-change. "We felt that the most important thing was that the University kept the holiday on the calendar, whatever it is called."

Pitt used to celebrate Presidents' Day, the traditional national holiday, in February. The University moved that holiday to a Friday in February to avoid losing class time on two Mondays (counting January's Martin Luther King Jr. Day) in the spring term.

The holiday later was renamed Great Americans' Day and was moved to Friday of Pitt's spring break week when no classes are scheduled.

The more generic Spring Holiday was in response to campus community complaints that Great Americans' Day did not accurately describe the holiday, Mowery said.

There are no other significant changes to the academic calendar, Baranger said, other than updating dates for the coming terms. Faculty and staff will receive copies of the new academic calendar this month, she added.

–Peter Hart

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