Panthers Forward welcomes inaugural class

Panthers Forward is moving fast.

The innovative program started by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher to help students pay down student loan debt was just announced in October and last week it welcomed its first class of 150 seniors at a reception at Alumni Hall.

Once accepted into the program, participating seniors will each receive up to $5,000, which the University will pay toward their eligible federal student loan balance upon graduation.

As alumni, participants will be asked — but not required — to “pay it forward” via monthly contributions. Participants also will be connected to Alumni Ambassadors and bcome part of an alumni network to help future Panthers. 

The University’s Offices of the Chancellor and Institutional Advancement have partnered with Altian Education, a firm founded by Pitt alumni Rohit Anand (A&S, ’17), Joseph Kannarkat (A&S, ’18) and Pat O’Donnell (Engineering ’14), for the program’s launch.

Some facts about the inaugural class:

  • On average, the $5,000 will reduce the student federal loan debt total by 20 percent
  • 76 percent are female
  • 66 percent are in-state students
  • Top three declared majors being pursued: Engineering, Psychology, Biological Sciences

Find more details on PittWire.

  • The inaugural class of Panthers Forward has 150 seniors who will graduate in spring 2019. (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Students, parents, alumni and members of Pitt's administration gathered on Dec. 7 at Alumni Hall to welcome the first class of Panthers Forward. (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Panthers Forward students come from all parts of the University —Dorothy Sherman (left) of Wilmington, Del., and Devyn King of Glen Burnie, Md., are Theatre Arts majors, while Ethan Silver of Blue Bell, Pa., is in Chemical Engineering. (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner encouraged the participants to give back and "lift while you climb." (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)