PITT ROC Spirit Award
The ROC Spirit Award recognizes an individual for his or her outstanding enthusiasm, loyalty, pride, and spirit in support of the University of Pittsburgh.
Pitt Alumni Association President Gary Brownlee, Bruce Mountjoy (CGS ’91), ROC Spirit Award Winners Tracy Floyd (NURS ’91) and Darryl Floyd (A&S ’89, MED ’94G), John P. Gismondi (A&S ’75, LAW ’78), Gordon Louderback (ENGR ’13), and Executive Director, Pitt Alumni Association Jeff Gleim.
The Spirit Award is named in honor of ROC, the University's beloved Panther Mascot, who demonstrates these qualities and characteristics while representing the University each and every day of the year.
Franklin Blackstone (A&S ’49, LAW ’52 )
Franklin Blackstone has always honored and upheld Pitt’s grand traditions with pride and enthusiasm. Growing up just outside of Pittsburgh, Blackstone was a fan of the University from an early age and when he came to Pitt in 1945 he immediately committed fully to the experience. He was elected to student congress, edited the Owl, was a member of the debate team, and proud to be part of the cheerleading squad.
Blackstone went on to earn a law degree from Pitt in 1952 and remained involved in campus life including committing his time and expertise to the Law School as a Lecturer and volunteer. The long-time football and basketball season ticket holder has also been generous in his philanthropic support, including an estate gift endowing a scholarship with a preference for a cheer team member, especially the individuals who portray the mascot Roc, for whom this award is named.
The capstone of Blackstone’s undergraduate career came when he was chosen in 1949 Omicron Delta Kappa Senior of the Year. As is stated on the walkway outside the Cathedral of Learning, “On this walk Omicron Delta Kappa honors those persons who, through intelligent leadership, personal integrity and intellectual honesty, have served their University well.” His was one of the first blocks to be laid on the famed walkway.
Professionally, Blackstone had a storied legal career including time as an Assistant United States Attorney. Blackstone’s wide-ranging community service includes being Director Emeritus of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, a Jumonville Foundation Trustee, and a member of the Pennsylvania Tree Growers Association.
2017 | Tracy Floyd, NURS ’91 and Darryl Floyd, A&S ’89, MED ’94G
2016 | Maryann Scholl, PHARM ’07 and Justin Scholl, PHARM ’07
2015 | Thomas G. Bigley CBA ’56
2014 | James J. Irrang, PHD, SHRS ’77, ’90, EDUC ’99
2013 | Jack R. Anderson, A&S ’70
2012 | Michael Nuzzo, NURS ’11 (1st awardee [served as Roc from 2008-2011])