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March 5, 2015

Why they give: Paul Supowitz

Paul Supowitz

Through the Faculty and Staff Campaign, University employees can help Pitt thrive by contributing to any of more than 2,000 scholarship, fellowship and professorship funds. Payroll deductions are available, and donors of $1,000 or more are recognized through the Chancellor’s Circle program.

Annually, nearly 3,000 Pitt employees take part in the campaign, from every part of the University. Their backgrounds, and reasons for giving, are as diverse as the Pitt community.

The University Times is profiling some Faculty and Staff Campaign donors.


There’s one important reason Paul Supowitz, vice chancellor for Community and Governmental Relations, has been giving for many years to the Panther Club Athletic Scholarship Fund, the Mark A. Nordenberg Scholarship Fund and other Pitt units through the Faculty and Staff Campaign:

“Because Pitt has played a very important role not just in my life but in the life of my family,” he says.

Supowitz is a 1989 Pitt law school graduate, and has two kids who are alumni in the making. He has a son who is a junior and a student manager of the basketball team; his daughter will be a freshman this fall.

“I feel strongly that Pitt has given us great opportunities,” Supowitz says.

That’s why he is pleased to give more students a chance to gain a Pitt education. He chose the Nordenberg scholarship, for one, because the chancellor emeritus and law faculty member was his civil procedures professor. “It’s in recognition of my respect for Mark Nordenberg and his tremendous leadership he exhibited as chancellor,” Supowitz says.

Nordenberg notifies scholarship supporters about the students who receive scholarship help, and Supowitz has met several of them.

“You meet these kids and it just reinforces every reason you have for being supportive,” he says. “They’re focused on leveraging everything the University has to offer. It just validates everything you’re thinking about giving.”

Supporting the athletic scholarship was another easy choice. “We are huge sports fans, and particularly basketball fans.” Coach Jamie Dixon, he adds, “is a great coach but a better person.”

What would Supowitz say to a faculty or staff member who hasn’t given yet?

“Take a close look at what tremendously positive impact the University has, both on the lives of individuals and on this region.”

Marty Levine