of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, whose significant support of the
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has resulted in unprecedented growth,
received the Presidential Medal of Distinction at a tribute reception and
dinner on Thursday evening.
The presidential medal is
Pitt-Bradford’s highest honor.
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to
celebrate the accomplishments of a remarkable leader, whose impact has extended
well beyond the Pittsburgh campus,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of
Pitt-Bradford. “Throughout his tenure, Chancellor Nordenberg has been an ardent
supporter and advocate for our campus. He inspires us to do our very best to
advance the university.”
Last summer Nordenberg
announced he would step down after serving 19 years as chancellor in August of
During his tenure, enrollment has
increased and average SAT scores have risen at the campus in Pittsburgh and in
Pitt research and strong alliances
with UPMC and Carnegie Mellon University have benefitted the regional economy
of Pittsburgh, where one in five jobs is now in the education or medical
Before serving as chancellor,
Nordenberg was dean of Pitt’s school of law and interim provost of the
university. In 1994, he was elevated to the special faculty rank of distinguished
service professor. In 1995, the university’s board of trustees elected him
interim chancellor, and in 1996, following a national search, he was elected
He began his career at Pitt in 1977,
when he joined the school of law, where he gained the reputation as an
outstanding teacher and was the initial recipient of the Excellence in Teaching
Award now presented annually by the law school’s graduating class.
Later he was one of the first
faculty members to receive the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, which
recognizes teaching excellence university-wide.
Nordenberg earned his bachelor’s
degree at Thiel College and his law degree at the University of Wisconsin Law
School. He has been married to Dr. Nikki Pirillo Nordenberg for more than 40
years, and the couple has three adult children and three young grandsons.
Nordenberg is the 26th
individual awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction, which is presented to
a person who has either volunteered his or her time for several years; supported
the university either financially or with expertise or advice; served the
university’s service region through community, government or business
affiliation; or has made distinctive achievements in his or her field that have
Recent medal winners include the
Rev. Leo Gallina, George Duke, Thomas Bromeley and former University of
Pittsburgh Provost James V. Maher.