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.
The William Pitt Union
is the student union
building of the University of Pittsburgh
main campus and is a Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark
. Constructed in 1898 in the Beaux-Arts style
and rich with marble, chandeliers and Louis XV architecture, the former Schenley Hotel catered to local and visiting well-to-do that included Hollywood stars such as Lillian Russell
, Henry Fonda
, Katharine Hepburn
, and Spencer Tracy
, as well as U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson
, Theodore Roosevelt
, William Howard Taft
, and Dwight D. Eisenhower
. The Schenley was acquired by the University of Pittsburgh in 1956 to serve as a student activities center, and in 1980, underwent an 18-month renovation that restored the hotel's original character, including its ballrooms and lobby. Containing a variety of lounges, ballrooms, a recreation room, and a food court in its lower levels, it houses the majority of student services and organizations in its upper floors, and also serves as the home to the International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame.
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Reginald Aubrey Fessenden
(October 6, 1866 – July 22, 1932) was a Canadian
inventor who performed pioneering experiments in radio
, including early—possibly the first— transmissions of voice and music. In his later career he received hundreds of patents for devices in fields such as high-powered transmitting, sonar
, and television
. Sometimes referred to as the "The Father of Radio Broadcasting", he was recruited to the Western University of Pennsylvania, renamed the University of Pittsburgh
in 1908, for the newly created position of chair of the Electrical Engineering department by George Westinghouse
, founder of Westinghouse Electric Company
. Fessenden began experimenting with wireless communication in 1898, and had a wireless communication system functioning between Pittsburgh
and Allegheny City
, now Pittsburgh's North Side
, in 1899. He is believed to have achieved the first wireless voice transmission in December 1900.