Portal:University of Pittsburgh

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The  University of Pittsburgh  Portal


The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is an urban state-related research university located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with four regional campuses throughout Western Pennsylvania. Founded in 1787, Pitt is one of the oldest continuously chartered institutions of higher education in the United States.

Pitt is ranked as one of the top public research universities in the nation by the Center for Measuring University Performance (top cluster of 7) and U.S. News & World Report (top 20), has been named as a "best value" by various publications, and has appeared in multiple rankings of the world's top universities. Pitt has also been recognized for its positive campus atmosphere, with The Princeton Review ranking Pitt as having the 8th happiest student body and the 11th best quality of life in the nation in 2010.

Pitt is among the world's most active research institutions with over $700 million in annual research expenditures. Pitt and its medical school are also closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a leading international academic medical center that has been consistently ranked in U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the approximately 15 to 20 best hospitals in America over the last decade.

Pitt is popularly recognized for its centerpiece building, the Cathedral of Learning at 535 feet (163 m), the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere; for its central role in developing the first polio vaccine; and for fielding nationally competitive NCAA Division I athletic programs.

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The Studio Theatre in the Cathedral of Learning
Friday Nite Improvs, or Friday Night Improvs (FNI), is a long-running weekly improvisational comedy show staged in the Cathedral of Learning's Studio Theatre on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The show functions as an improv jam, performed by improv actors who don't normally work together. FNI is unique in that, in addition to the audience's providing improv suggestions, the performers are all pulled from volunteers in the audience. Friday Nite Improvs is the longest-running theatrical/comedic production in the city of Pittsburgh. The show regularly features actors from every improv group in Pittsburgh, and alumni have gone on to act, write, and produce for television and film.

Readers of the Pittsburgh City Paper ranked Friday Nite Improvs as the 3rd best place to see comedy in Pittsburgh in the 2004 "Best of Pittsburgh" survey behind the professional stand-up clubs The Improv and The Funnybone. College Prowler ranked Friday Nite Improvs as the ninth best thing about Pitt.

The 1912-1913 Pitt Band
The University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band, or Pitt Band, is the college marching band at the University of Pittsburgh. The band, which dates to 1904 and which falls under the auspices of the university's athletic department, includes over 200 instrumentalists, a majorette squad known as the Golden Girls, a color guard, and the University of Pittsburgh drumline. The band was founded in 1911 and has won numerous awards over the years. All members of the band must pass an audition in order to join. The band is currently housed in Trees Hall, however Pitt is in the process of building a new marching band facility.


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On this day in Pitt history...

Western Psychiatric Institute - Thomas Detre Hall.jpg
  • (2000) The building housing the Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic (WPIC) is officially dedicated as Thomas Detre Hall in honor of Detre, a former WPIC director and university Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences.

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Joseph H. Thompson
Joseph "Colonel Joe" Henry Thompson was a highly decorated World War I veteran, recipient of the Medal of Honor, lawyer, Pennsylvania state legislator, head football coach of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, as well as a College Football Hall of Fame inductee. A graduate of both the College and the Law School, Thompson assumed the head coaching position at Pitt from 1908 to 1912 during which period he led Pitt to a 30-14-2 record which included the 1910 season when Pitt went undefeated, outscored opponents 282-0, and was considered by many consider to be that season's National Champion. A practicing lawyer, Thompson served as a member of Pennsylvania State Senate from 1913-16 and entered the Army in 1917, fighting in Mexico and France during World War I where he was repeatedly wounded and became a decorated hero. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre, the British Medal of Honor, and the American Distinguished Service Medal. He died in 1928 from ailments aggravated by war wounds.


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