Satterwhite family first to span three generations of alumni

Future panther?





Pitt-Bradford has been a land of opportunity for the Satterwhite family, the first three-generation family in the university's history to receive its education here.

But the Satterwhites' connection with Pitt-Bradford started way before any book was cracked open.

Patriarch Henry Satterwhite, along with his business partners, was there from the beginning when a group of men saw the potential of having a regional campus in Bradford.

"He was one of many people who were supportive politically and financially," John Satterwhite said of his father, the "S" in ESB, well-known initials in Bradford through the business partnership of Edwards, Satterwhite and Bromeley.

Pitt-Bradford also provided an opportunity for John'64-'65 and Jeanie Mosch Satterwhite'64-'65 to meet.

"John and I had begun the Pitt-Bradford experience in its second year of existence, 1964-65," Jeanie Satterwhite said, "when it just had a few buildings spread around town. But we grew to love our school at Hamsher House, my new home in Emery Hall, and our friends and all of the memories -- without all of the trappings the kids have now."

She acknowledges that was a different time, way different than the Pitt-Bradford of today.

"Optimism for the future was high, but tainted," she said. "We were all still stung and bewildered by the assassination of President Kennedy ten months earlier, when Pitt-Bradford was just three months old, and I think that disastrous event changed the perspective of every college student in America for life, in a profound, new way.

"We became a close group with many landmark memories of that revolutionary time, when college students played an unprecedented part in our nation's history."

Then, the Satterwhites started a family, and Pitt-Bradford remained a part of their family. Through their daughter, Margie Brown, and granddaughter, Olivia Austin, the tradition of receiving a quality education at Pitt-Bradford continued.

When Brown attended, the campus had grown since her parents attended, but it wasn't nearly as big as it is today.

"Hanley Library was built while I was there," Brown said, adding the quality of education she received at Pitt-Bradford was second to none.

"I received a solid education," said Brown, who earned her communications degree in 1992. By the time Brown came to Pitt-Bradford, the campus was, well, a campus, Jeanie Satterwhite said.

Now, there are dozens of buildings on campus, a larger complement of academic programs, and a wide range of student clubs, organizations and athletic programs, all of which Brown's daughter, Olivia, was able to take advantage of until she graduated in April with a degree in criminal justice.

For John Satterwhite, an employer in Bradford, he sees a whole other side to Pitt-Bradford.

"Pitt-Bradford is one of the best things to happen Bradford," he said.

But the Satterwhites realize that Pitt-Bradford is not just mortar and bricks, citing the arts and cultural activities the university provides for residents of all ages.

Regardless of whether it is a building, a relationship or a memory, the campus will hold a special place in Satterwhite history.

"I guess Pitt-Bradford will always be a center point in our family history," Jeanie Satterwhite said. "We met here, and we received our education here, and our daughter and granddaughter received theirs here, also. Bradford is John's hometown, and somehow it became mine also, in my heart."