Portal:University of Pittsburgh

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The University of Pittsburgh (commonly referred to as Pitt) is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1787 after the American Revolutionary War, it was founded on the edge of the American frontier as the Pittsburgh Academy. It developed and was renamed as Western University of Pennsylvania by a change to its charter in 1819. After surviving two devastating fires and various relocations within the area, the school moved to its current location in the Oakland neighborhood of the city; it was renamed as the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. For most of its history, Pitt was a private institution, until 1966 when it became part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education.

The university is composed of 17 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges located at its urban Pittsburgh campus, home to the university's central administration and 28,766 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The university also includes four undergraduate schools located at campuses within Western Pennsylvania: Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. The 132-acre Pittsburgh campus has multiple contributing historic buildings of the Schenley Farms Historic District, most notably its 42-story Gothic revival centerpiece, the Cathedral of Learning. The campus is situated adjacent to the flagship medical facilities of its closely affiliated University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), as well as the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Schenley Park, and Carnegie Mellon University.

The university has an annual operating budget of approximately $2 billion, which includes nearly $900 million in research and development expenditures. A member of the Association of American Universities, Pitt is the sixth-largest recipient of federally sponsored research funding among U.S. universities in 2013, and it is a major recipient of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is the second-largest non-government employer in the Pittsburgh region behind UPMC. Pitt is ranked among the top research universities in the United States in both domestic and international rankings, and has been listed as a "best value" in higher education by several publications.

Pitt students have access to various arts programs throughout the campus and city, and can participate in over 400 student clubs and organizations. Pitt's varsity athletic teams, collectively known as the Pittsburgh Panthers, compete in Division I of the NCAA, primarily as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

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Interior of Heinz Chapel as viewed from the balcony
Heinz Memorial Chapel is a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark and a contributing property to the Schenley Farms Historic District on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Complete in 1938, the chapel was a gift to the university from Henry John Heinz, founder of the H.J. Heinz Company, in honor of his mother, as well as his three surviving children, in honor of their father. Designed by Charles Klauder, the chapel also features 23 stained glass windows, among the tallest stained glass windows in the world, designed by noted artist Charles Connick, as well as iron work by Samuel Yellin. The non-denomination chapel is used for various religious services, concerts, weddings for university affiliates, and other special university events. It is also home to the university's Heinz Chapel Choir.
Denise Frawley was a two-time Honorable Mention All-American, 1987 Big East Conference Player of the Year, and 1988 Big East Tournament MVP for Pitt
Pittsburgh Panthers volleyball is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate women's volleyball program of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as "Pitt". The Pitt volleyball team competes in the Big East Conference and plays their home games in Fitzgerald Field House. Since the founding of the volleyball program in 1974, the Panthers have had 33 winning seasons, one of the nation's top all-time winning percentages, appearances in 14 national championship tournaments, and the most Big East tournament championships, eleven, in the conference.


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On this day in Pitt history...

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Photo credit: Matt Riggott, Edinburgh, Scotland
Ceiling detail of the Chinese Nationality Room

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Thomas Parran, Jr.
Thomas Parran, Jr. (28 September 1892 – 16 February 1968) was an American physician and soldier. He was appointed the sixth Surgeon General of the United States from 1936 to 1948 for which he is probably best remembered for his syphilis control campaign. Parran also chaired the International Health Conference where the World Health Organization (WHO) draft constitution was adopted (1946) and led subsequent U.S. delegations. After his serving as Surgeon General, he helped establish the School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, serving as its first dean until 1958. Parran made Pittsburgh a proving ground for ideas developed during his tenure at the Public Health Service, recruiting the school's first generation of senior faculty and bringing his deputy surgeon general and veteran international health administrator, Dr. James A. Crabtree. The school's primary facility, Parran Hall, is named in his honor.


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