it comes to loyal alumni, it’s hard to beat Frank ’64-’66 and Mary Cattoni
who was originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Mary, who came from Bradford, met
while working on the committee for the first Winter Weekend. They’re not only
proud alumni who attend many events on campus, they’re particularly proud of
being early alumni.
kind of a unique thing,” said Frank, who loves to regale staff members with
tales from his days on “campus,” which at that time was two buildings a mile
aren’t a lot of Harvard people who can say, ‘I was there when it started.’”
when the 50th anniversary rolled around, “We got very sentimental
about it. We wanted to do something or in some way be involved.”
Rizzos already have a scholarship that they began at the urging of classmate
Bill Krieg ’64-’66. This time, they wanted to seed a scholarship that anyone
could contribute to in honor of the 50th anniversary of
Rizzos donated $10,000 to endow The Pitt-Bradford 50th Anniversary
Commemorative Scholarship Fund. Mary is retired from ExxonMobil, which generously
matched their donation three-to-one, kicking in another $30,000.
we set it up as a 50th anniversary, maybe some alumni from the ’60s
would be willing to throw a couple of dollars in it and reconnect with the old
school,” Frank said. “We know that students could use the help.”
Rizzos know first-hand what scholarship help can mean to students. Mary, a good
student at Bradford High, earned academic scholarships and lived at home while
Frank, the story was a little different.
1964, Baby Boomers were beginning to flood colleges and Pitt was feeling the
squeeze. The fall before, it had opened up three regional campuses, in
Bradford, Greensburg and Titusville, to accommodate the increase in students.
didn’t have the greatest grades,” Frank admitted, “but Pitt-Bradford had
openings and was taking students.” Frank’s father was a big football fan who
was attracted to Pitt football. The family met Pitt-Bradford President Dr.
Donald Swarts at the Biltmore Hotel in New York City, where he had traveled to
thing I knew, we were packing up the car and driving Route 6 to Bradford,” he
said. “It was a struggle for me, but Pitt-Bradford was a receiving place, and
the teachers were as giving as you could want. A lot of them were almost as
young as we were.”
two years in the nurturing environment of Pitt-Bradford, both Frank and Mary
went on to earn the bachelor’s degrees
in Pittsburgh. Mary earned a Master of Library Science, then both earned Master
of Business Administration degrees from the New York Institute of Technology
with the help of Exxon, in Mary’s case, and the G.I. Bill, in Frank’s.
giving concept runs through our whole education and college experience, and you
have to pay it forward,” Frank said.
Rizzos are not alone – 65 alumni, retirees and friends of the university have
contributed to the scholarship also.
more information on the scholarship or to donate, contact Jill Ballard,
executive and managing director of the Bradford Educational Fund, email@example.com or