Cathedral Innovation Challenge

Cathedral Innovation Challenge

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of Learning in 1937, and in conjunction with Pitt’s dedication to innovation, the Pitt Alumni Association recently sponsored the Cathedral Innovation Challenge.

Pitt alumni, students, faculty, and staff members were asked to build, draw, or create replicas of the Cathedral of Learning. Of the dozens of submissions, 10 finalists were selected, and nearly 1,000 alumni cast online ballots to select the three winners, which were announced during the University’s Randall Family Big Idea competition being held on Thursday, March 23.

 The winning entries were also on display during the Randall Family Big Ideal competition, along with several Cathedral Innovation Challenge finalists' entries, as shown below.


Cathedral Of Learning Painting 
FIRST PLACE:  Watercolor Cathedral by Patricia Irrgang
Patricia Irrgang, a Pitt employee who works for Computing Services and Systems Development and a three-time Pitt graduate who holds degrees from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs,  won first place with her watercolor submission.  She won a private, exclusive dinner for 8 in the Babcock Room on the 40th floor of the Cathedral of Learning.

 Cathedral Of Learning3 1000 Cathedral Of Learning5 300

SECOND PLACE: Minecraft Cathedral by Adam Lucas
Adam Lucas, a student in Pitt’s Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, who created a virtual Cathedral of Learning for the Minecraft video game, took second place.  He won a University of Pittsburgh coffee table book, a framed picture of the Cathedral of Learning, and a $100 gift card for The Pitt Shop.  The digital, interactive scale replica built in the video game Minecraft, includes 36 floors and working elevators.  Adam says that, “All floors are finished but special attention to replicating the actual Cathedral was put into floors G-3 and the Honors College. View Adam’s creation online at 
 Cathedral Bob M 2
THIRD PLACE:  Watercolor and Pencil Sketch by Bob Monfredi
Bob Monfredi, a 1983 graduate of Pitt’s Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, whose watercolor received third place honors, won two tickets to both a Pitt football and basketball games and a duffle bag of Pitt swag. “We are a Pitt family to a large extent, with myself, my wife, my daughter, and sister as graduates, and my mom having been a long time employee in the engineering department, so we are glad to participate and share our "family heirloom" with others at Pitt,” said Bob.  

To see all of the Cathedral Innovation Challenge contest entries, click here.