Portal:University of Pittsburgh

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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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University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, also known as UPJ or Pitt Johnstown, is a four-year, degree-granting regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The university's wooded, 650-acre (2.6 km2) campus is located just outside Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1927, UPJ was one of first the regional campuses of a major university in the United States. Offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 40 areas, UPJ is ranked as the 28th best baccalaureate college in the North and the eighth best public baccalaureate college in the North by U.S. News & World Report in its "America's Best Colleges 2010" annual college guide. UPJ is also listed among the "Best Colleges in the Northeastern Region" by The Princeton Review. Athletic teams at Pitt Johnstown compete in NCAA Division II.

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...

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Photo credit: KitAy
Campus Lamp and Pitt Rep sign in winter

Selected biography

Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew William Mellon (March 24, 1855 – August 26, 1937) was an banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932. Born in Pittsburgh, he was educated at the Western University of Pennsylvania (renamed the University of Pittsburgh in 1908). Mellon joined his father's banking firm, T. Mellon & Sons, two years later and had ownership of the bank transferred to him in 1882. He also helped organize the Union Trust Company and Union Savings Bank of Pittsburgh and branched into industrial activities including oil, steel, shipbuilding, and construction. His backing helped found several companies and entire industries. Mellon eventually became one of the wealthiest people in the United States. In the mid 1920s, he was the third highest income tax payer in the U.S. behind only John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford. Mellon was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by new President Warren G. Harding in 1921. He served for ten years and eleven months; the third-longest tenure of a Secretary of the Treasury. His service continued through the Coolidge administration and most of the Hoover administration. During his retirement years, as he had done in earlier years, Mellon was an active philanthropist, and gave generously of his private fortune to support art and research causes which included establishing the Mellon Institute for Industrial Research and becoming a major benefactor of his alma mater, by then renamed to the University of Pittsburgh. In 1937, he donated his substantial art collection, plus $10 million for construction, to establish the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Gallery was authorized in 1937 by Congress.


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