A crowd of about 500 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members
attended the Founders’ Day celebration
Sept. 3, marking the 50th anniversary since the school opened its
doors on Sept. 3, 1963.
The day’s ceremonies focused on the
university’s five decades of academic excellence and the strength of the
enduring relationship between the civic leaders of Bradford and the university.
“The fascinating story of the birth
of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is first and foremost a story of a
region and its people,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president, in his
remarks. “It’s a story of the ingenuity and determination of the people of this
community and of their commitment to making education accessible to future
speakers reflected on Pitt-Bradford, its progress and meaning to the community
in their remarks. Those were Dr. Richard E. McDowell, president emeritus; Craig
Hartburg, chairman of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board; Chris Napoleon,
president of the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association; Dr. Richard Melka, president
of the faculty senate; Tonya Ackley, president of the Pitt-Bradford Staff
Association; and Yara Elbeshbishi, president of the Student Government
A final highlight of the afternoon
was the unveiling of a 10 ½-foot-long bronze panther statue created by Bradford
native David Hodges. Hodges, who lives in Montana and specializes in Western
art, studied real wildcats while creating the lifelike work.
panther statue was first proposed by members of the Student Government Association
in 2009. Over the next few years, student government pledged $35,000 out of its
student funds toward the cost of the panther. Five former SGA presidents were
on hand to unveil the panther with current student government president Elbeshbishi,
a chemistry major from Montgomery Village, Md: Jessica Visseau Resig ’09;
Timothy Woughter ’10; Jacob Loree ’11; and Erik Austin ’12. Elizabeth Tillman
’13 could not attend.
panther statue will forevermore remain a symbol of our students’ devotion and commitment
to this campus,” Alexander said.
Napoleon spoke directly about the
panther, Pitt’s mascot since 1909. “The panther is the most formidable creature
indigenous to Pennsylvania, and the hue of its golden coat reflects the gold in
the university’s colors. We now have our own panther as a symbol to lead us
Alexander later noted that the rock
that the Pitt-Bradford panther occupies came from the same quarry that provided
stone for the Pittsburgh campus’s iconic Cathedral of Learning