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Fascinating Facts

These facts will bemuse or amuse you.

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1838
  • Only extant 1838 dip…
    Michael Harshaw worked in a stone quarry to enable him to study at the University.

    Only extant 1838 diploma [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1882
  • Gaudeamus student fe…
    It is reported that early in the University’s history an event called Gaudeamus was held at the end of each school year. It was planned by students with an alumnus master of the feast. Alumni and students were invited to attend.
    Gaudeamus student feast held; alumnus is master of the feast [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
  • University's First H…
    The University's first home was a small brick building that housed the President's home (Robert Bruce) and adjoining it was the "Hall" which held two rooms – one above the other.
    University's First Home [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
  • An alumnus offers a …
    An alumnus began a contest for the best song relating the history or future of the University. The prize was $20.
    An alumnus offers a $20 prize for the best University song. [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1894
  • Freshman yell that h…
    “A large juicy doughnut awaits the thrice blessed possessor of that colossal intellect from which emanated that peerless monument to the beauties of the English language, the yell of the Fresh[men], Hoo-rah dog! Hoo-rah dog! The Sophomore class is on the hog!”
    Freshman yell that has not withstood the test of time [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1899
  • Vice-Admiral George …
    Vice-Admiral, George Dewey, LL.D. '98 promoted to Admiral and was appointed to the Phillipine Commission by President McKinley. Salary of $13,000.
    Vice-Admiral George Dewey, LL.D. '98 promoted to admiral by McKinley [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1911
  • Our Old Pittsburgh a…
    "Our Old Pittsburgh" written by George M.P. Baird was adopted as the official University song of the GAA:
    "Come, brothers, sing the old song again,Our paean to Alma Mater-
    We who have follow her beacon light
    And marched ‘neath her banner fair-
    Sing of her fame in the days gone by,
    And the glory the years have brought her; Her colors we wear, her honors we share, Then sing till the winds reply.
    Here’s to our University,
    Here’s to her Gold and Blue,
    Here’s to Alumni and Faculty,
    Here’s to her Students true,
    Here’s to her fame in years to come,
    Bright may her laurels be,
    Here’s to old Pittsburgh the glorious,
    Here’s to old U. of P."

    "Our Old Pittsburgh, dear Old Pittsburgh, with love that never tires,
    Thy loyal sons in homage stand about thine altar fires.
    Though in the strife of after-life, far from thy shrine we be
    Our loyal hearts will ever burn with love, dear Pitt, for thee,
    Our loyal hearts will ever burn with love, dear Pitt, for thee."
    Our Old Pittsburgh adopted as official association song [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1918
  • Flu Outbreak Puts Ki…
    Influenza outbreak caused a ban on meetings so General Alumni Association did not meet.
    Flu Outbreak Puts Kibosh on Meetings [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1931
  • Association purpose …
    GAA Purpose Statement: "To bind more closely the ties of fellowship and good will formed in school days; to disseminate information about Pitt and Pitt alumni; to organize and unite the interest of alumni and to direct this interest in ways that will best further the progress of Alma Mater; to become a force for constructive citizenship; to stand united behind the University of Pittsburgh in its work of training for efficient, intelligent leadership."
    Association purpose statement [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1935
  • Alumni Men's Glee Cl…
    Alumni men’s glee club formed.
    Alumni Men's Glee Club formed [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1938
  • Association Evening …
    The President of the Alumni Association of the Evening Division forwarded a check for the balance of funds of the organization when it became defunct. (January 4, 1938)
    Association Evening Division ceases to exist [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
  • Photos from alumni a…
    Photos from alumni activities.
    Photos from alumni archives [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1939
  • Association sponsors…
    GAA “sponsored an appearance of the Yurek Shabelevsky Ballet Troupe, followed by a reception and dance”
    Association sponsors Yurek Shabelevksy Ballet Troupe [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1949
  • Associatioin puts ki…
    "There is absolutely no foundation to the rumor that the Alumni Association is establishing a scholarship in order to send a person abroad to study the subject of Smorgasbords, nor is there any intention of importing a person to advise us regarding the annual feast at reunion time."
    Associatioin puts kibosh on Smorgasbord rumor [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1954
  • 31 alumni named to W…
    Thirty-one alumni named to Who’s Who
    31 alumni named to Who's Who [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
  • Contest to replace S…
    Student Congress of Pitt sponsored a contest to find new words for "Hail to Pitt" and to remove "Smokey Town." Prize was either a Pitt blazer or a Pitt chair.
    Contest to replace Smokey Town in Hail to Pitt [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1957
  • Association presents…
    GAA presented a plaque to the University marking the location of the original school building at Cherry Way. The presentation was done on October 29.
    Association presents plaque to mark PItt's original location [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
  • Association gives Li…
    GAA gave Chancellor and Mrs. Litchfield two Pitt chairs as welcome gifts.
    Association gives Litchfields two Pitt chairs as welcome gifts [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1963
  • Pitt Alumni invited …
    Pitt Alumni invited to participate in the National Television show "Alumni Fun." It aired on Pittsburgh Channel 4 on Sunday at 4:30 pm. (January 21, 1963)
    Pitt Alumni invited to participate in TV program, Alumni Fun [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1983
  • General Alumni Assoc…
    GAA agreed to co-host the World Championship of Figure Skating with the Pittsburgh Figure Skating Club. The bid was lost to Cincinnati which had better rink facilities.
    General Alumni Association loses bid to co-host World Championship of Figure Staking [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1994
  • Alfred Reed Hamilton…
    "Back in 1912, at the 125th anniversary celebration of the University, Alfred Reed Hamilton (1894), president of the General Alumni Association, addressed members. Describing what he felt the relationship of alumni to their university should be, Hamilton said: '[The Alumni Association’s] function is to bind this institution to the community by thousands of living, compelling ties; to help build its buildings; to win it friends; to supervise its competitive athletics, to keep them clean, and to teach the participants to strive with courage, to win with modesty and lose with good humor and good grace; and finally, to open the avenues of self-help to students who need help.
    Now, for all this work we need, more than anything else, recruits. The present body is small but reasonably active; therefore, we should not rest until we have lassoed the last available man. The fellow who has touched the magic walls of this old institution will find the old memories tugging at his heart strings if we but stir them. Set these chords vibrating and the truth comes home to him, hot in his conviction, that this university belongs to him and he to it.'"
    Alfred Reed Hamilton 1912 speech regarding alumni [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1998
  • Alum David Rossi don…
    Pitt Alumnus, David Rossi, donated an opportunity for Pitt to place scientific experiments aboard the space shuttle on a mission scheduled for May 2000.
    Alum David Rossi donates chance for Pitt to place scientific experiments on the May 200 space shuttle [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close
1999
  • 25 Ways Pitt Has Cha…
    25 Ways Pitt has Changed the World.
    25 Ways Pitt Has Changed the World [x] Click to close
    [x] Click to close