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April 27, 2017

Council recalls Pgh. leaders, 2 former faculty who died

Remembrances of four men with University connections who died this month dominated the April 19 Senate Council meeting.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher spoke about former Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney and former emeritus trustee and philanthropist Henry L. Hillman, who died April 13 and 14, respectively.

“In many ways, it was a passing of a generational torch that we saw last week,” said Gallagher.

The chancellor referenced the relationship between Pitt and the Pittsburgh Steelers that is symbolized by Heinz Field, which hosts games for both football programs and features signs for both institutions.

“The partnership between the University and the Steelers in the area of our athletics program is really without peer in college sports,” he said.

“In most of those cases, it’s more of a transactional relationship, a business or facilities-sharing arrangement. In this case, it’s really a partnership.”

Gallagher also noted Rooney’s role in resolving the 2012 Pitt bomb threats (Aug. 30, 2012, University Times). Rooney, then-U.S. ambassador to Ireland, assisted law enforcement when the lead suspect was located in Ireland.

Contributions to Pitt from Henry Hillman are evident in the Hillman Library, which was named after his father; the Hillman Cancer Center; and the Hillman fellows for innovative cancer research program.

Gallagher said: “Along with Elsie, his wife, they were committed to supporting the region, and the way they did it was to really believe in the transformative power of innovation, of science. The University of Pittsburgh played a key role.”

Senate President Frank Wilson reflected on public health faculty member emeritus Nathan Hershey, a former Senate president and vice president, who died April 15. Wilson credited Hershey with the creation of the University Senate Service Award. (See obituary in this issue.)

At the invitation of Wilson, James Becker, a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry, attended the meeting to speak about Gerald Goldstein, a former departmental colleague and a VA senior research career scientist, who died April 8. An expert in alcoholism, schizophrenia and rehabilitation, Goldstein was the author of 350 published papers. (See obituary in this issue.)


In other business:
• The incoming student government leadership was introduced. The new presidents are: M. Jacqueline Gross, College of General Studies; Chris Staten, Graduate and Professional Student Government; and Max Kneis, Student Government Board. Amber Griffith was re-elected as president of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Organization (GSO).

• Griffith read a statement outlining GSO’s support of “the efforts of the graduate student organizing committee (GSOC) and the formation of a graduate student worker union.”

—Katie Fike

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