University of Pittsburgh
December 5, 2005

Council for Advancement and Support of Education District II Honors Pitt Chancellor with the 2006 Chief Executive Leadership Award

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg has been selected to receive the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II. He will receive the award at the CASE Annual Awards Gala Feb. 6 at the Hilton Pittsburgh, Gateway Center. The awards ceremony is part of the CASE District II conference being held in Pittsburgh Feb. 5-7, 2006.

"The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has long played a unique and very important role in helping colleges and universities become more effective advocates for higher education," said Nordenberg. "Particularly because of the respect enjoyed by CASE, I was flattered to learn that I had been selected to receive this special award. However, I view my selection mainly as a tribute to all of the people at Pitt who have worked so hard to elevate our own alumni, communications, and fundraising programs to the levels of quality that would lead to this kind of recognition."

In nomination letters, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice and Pitt Board of Trustees Chair Ralph J. Cappy wrote, "I rarely have had the pleasure of knowing an individual so completely committed not only to his job but to the philosophy behind his work. Education, to Mark Nordenberg, is more than an abstract concept. It is his life's mission, in the many forms it takes, and we-trustees, students, faculty, and staff of the University of Pittsburgh-are just some of the privileged people who have had the great fortune to know and benefit from that passion."

Pitt Trustee Sam Zacharias of Gateway Financial Group wrote, "…he has demonstrated an almost uncanny ability to create a vision for this institution and to inspire others to support that vision."

Nordenberg was nominated for the award by administrators Albert J. Novak Jr., vice chancellor for institutional advancement, and Robert Hill, vice chancellor for public affairs, Pitt's senior CASE members.

Among the accomplishments Nordenberg was recognized for were:

Actively supporting significant advancement efforts. The University has exceeded the $800 million mark toward its goal of $1 billion in the most ambitious capital campaign in the history of Pitt and Southwestern Pennsylvania. But the money raised is only a tool: On the importance of the campaign, the Chancellor remarked, "Success will be judged not by how much we raise, but what we do with the money. I want to make sure that Pitt makes a billion dollars' worth of difference."

Aggressively pursuing excellence in undergraduate education. The Middle States Commission recently lauded Pitt for "extraordinary accomplishments in recent years through its focus on undergraduate education; academic programs impressive in variety, strength, and soundness; innovative, dedicated, imaginative faculty; and a collaborative academic style.

Being a partner in community and economic development. Through projects such as the Community Outreach Partnership Center and arrangements with Pitt's volunteer office, Pitt faculty, staff, and students donated tens of thousands of volunteer hours to such groups as Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, Jumpstart, America Reads, and United Way's Day of Caring. Applying standard conventions, at $600 million in research and development expenditures per year, the University is supporting, directly and indirectly, nearly 18,000 jobs through its research initiative. Pitt's own employment base has increased 25 percent during the past decade.

CASE's Chief Executive Leadership Award recognizes "outstanding efforts in promoting the understanding and support of education," according to the organization's Achievement Awards application guidelines. "Nominees must demonstrate the ability to create vision and inspire others; establish a positive image of his/her institution's stature in the community; and encourage innovation and risk-taking among employees. The nominee must also be known as an active and supportive participant in significant advancement efforts."