The University Remembered: Personal Reflections on Pitt and a Few of Its People

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9781595717863: The University Remembered: Personal Reflections on Pitt and a Few of Its People

These reflections present both short and extended episodes of Pitt nostalgia. Compiled over my 70-year period of association with the University of Pittsburgh, many of the events elaborated here are too informal, too specialized, or too unorthodox to find their way into a formal history. Having gathered these materials from the public relations cutting room floor, I decided to reissue them in these pages.

Emphasizing zany and bizarre behavior on the part of students, faculty, and others in the University community, I have been drawn to isolated bits of information and vivid descriptions, with bursts of humor and sprinkles of sarcasm. In these atypical remembrances of University life, I ignore convention, seek out the uncommon, and depict only a few of the many profiles that could be assembled to assist in defining Pitt or any other university.

My longest chapter is the first attempt to collect and evaluate the elements of disruption that engulfed the campus in the last part of the 20th Century. Much of the information is already in the public domain, released by the media, faculty, administrators, and government offices. In a brief account that is at times pivotal, I offer criticism based on fact, truth, and accuracy a timely revelation that demonstrates the ability of the University to confront crises of almost any dimension, including incessant bomb threats. Histories are generally written from the outside looking in on a subject.

This volume is different; alumni and friends have an opportunity to view the University from a previously untapped resource for delving beyond the official records. Not to capture these insights for posterity, as I have attempted to do, would be a permanent loss.

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The author acquired a vast amount of insider knowledge that he boldly reveals in this provocative and historically informative book. It will be a fascinating read not only for all Pitt alumni, retired and current faculty, but also for anyone who grew up in Pittsburgh after World War II and followed the growth and development of Pitt from a street car stop university into a top level nationally acclaimed institution of higher learning. --Cyril H. Wecht, Forensic Pathologist, Pitt 52, 56, 62

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