Dr. LivingstonAlexander, president of the Pitt-Bradford, knew there was one thing we definitely wanted to accomplish as part of the university's 50th anniversary commemoration.
"We don't have a comprehensive history of our institution, which has made major advances since its humble beginnings and gone through numerous transformations," he said.
Alexander thought it especially important to capture the early story of Pitt-Bradford while those who lived it were still available to historians. Dr. Sherrie Mershon, a seasoned writer and independent scholar, was engaged to document and write the history of Pitt-Bradford. Dr. Mershon had written extensively on American educational history, urban economic development and military personnel policy. She is co-author, with Dr. Steven Schlossman, of "Foxholes and Color Lines: Desegregating the U.S. Armed Forces." She has also collaborated on a history of the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering.
The fully-illustrated history of Pitt-Bradford will be completed next Spring and will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.
"I thought it important that we find someone who was not connected with the university and could therefore present an objective perspective," Alexander said, adding that the book will examine the campus's first 50 years from a perspective that takes into account the Bradford campus and surrounding region and the Pittsburgh campus and its various administrations.
"Dr. Mershon tried to provide as much detail as possible about the social and economic conditions that prompted a group of local civic and business leaders to advocate fiercely for college in Bradford," he said.
Mershon reviewed archives in Pittsburgh and interviewed important players in the first 50 years of the university, including Foundation President Tom Bromeley, former Advisory Board Chairman William Higie, alumna and former faculty member Isabelle Champlin, President Emeritus Dr. Richard E. McDowell, Dr. K. James Evans, vice president and dean of student affairs and current president, Livingston Alexander.
The book will be available in spring, at which time a book launch and signing will be held.