University of Pittsburgh
July 11, 2014

Funds from William S. Dietrich II’s Historic Gift to Pitt to Create a Matching Campaign for Undergraduate Scholarship Endowments

Inaugural donor is local actor Richard E. Rauh, who is creating a scholarship endowment for students majoring in theatre arts

Sharon Blake


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PITTSBURGH—Revenue affiliated with the historic $125 million gift to the University of Pittsburgh from William S. Dietrich II in 2011 is now being used to create a fund to match pledges for scholarships for undergraduate students in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

The 2011 gift—the largest ever in Pitt’s history and the inspiration for naming the University’s arts and sciences school after Dietrich’s father—has been used for Dietrich School initiatives such as the William S. Dietrich II Chair in Political Science and the William S. Dietrich II Endowment Fund for Graduate Support. The new Dietrich Matching Campaign for Undergraduate Scholarship Endowments marks the first time the funds will be used in a one-to-one match for undergraduate student scholarships. It will be done so through a revenue stream from The Dietrich Foundation, which manages assets associated with Dietrich’s historic gift.

TheRichard E. Rauh first gift in the matching campaign, launched July 1, is from local actor Richard E. Rauh, who received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Pitt in 1962 and 1964, respectively, and who is pledging $75,000 over a three-year period. Income generated from his gift will be matched by an identical amount from The Dietrich Foundation Endowment Fund for William S. Dietrich II Undergraduate Scholarships. Together, they will create the Dietrich-Rauh Endowed Scholarship, which will be available for undergraduate students in the Dietrich School majoring in theatre arts.

“Richard’s leadership gift is exceptionally generous and builds on his earlier gifts that add to the artistic strength of the Department of Theatre Arts by positioning future students to take advantage of the riches of the department,” said N. John Cooper, the Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the Dietrich School. “We hope that many others seize the opportunity offered by the Dietrich match to give back generously and help future generations of students benefit from Pitt strengths that matter to them,” he added. The matching campaign is running through Dec. 31, 2015.

Rauh, who has had an extensive career on stage and in film, is the son of Richard S. Rauh, who founded the Pittsburgh Playhouse in 1934. His mother, Helen Wayne Rauh, acted at the Pittsburgh Playhouse from 1935 to 1973 and performed in many major hits, including Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad (1962-63); Middle of the Night (1959); The Importance of Being Earnest (1949); Blithe Spirit (1945); and Bye Bye Birdie (1963). The younger Rauh has been acting locally from 1966 to the present at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Little Lake Theater, and City Theater. He has had roles in Krapp's Last Tape (1999), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Proof (2004), Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1979), A Thousand Clowns (1974), and many other productions. He ran the Playhouse Film Series from 1979 to 1994 and was a drama critic for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 1995 to 2000.

Rauh has strong ties to Pitt. They include being among the group of Pitt students who, in 1962, helped launch Pitt’s student-run radio station, which then had the call letters WPGH; serving as WPGH’s general manager for a semester; creating the Richard E. Rauh Teaching Artist-in-Residence in Pitt's Department of Theatre Arts; and donating his family’s papers—the Pittsburgh Playhouse Collection—to the Curtis Theatre Collection in the University Library System's Special Collections Department. Rauh also teaches film at Carnegie Mellon University and film and theater at Point Park University.

About the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Upon receiving the late William S. Dietrich II’s historic gift in 2011, then valued at $125 million, the University named its largest school in honor of Dietrich’s father. The Dietrich School sits at the heart of the University’s academic programs and provides instruction in the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences for students on the Pittsburgh campus. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate students pursuing majors or certificates in the school’s nearly 50 departments and programs. The school is also home to the largest graduate program in Pittsburgh and to Pitt’s College of General Studies, one of the region’s leading providers of adult education. Faculty members of the school regularly receive the highest forms of national and international recognition, and its students regularly compete with students from the country’s finest universities for the highest national honors.

About The Dietrich Foundation
Based in Pittsburgh, The Dietrich Foundation is a Pennsylvania charitable trust created through the extraordinary charitable vision and generosity of William S. Dietrich II, who passed away in October 2011. Dietrich was often asked what inspired him to develop his charitable plan with such careful consideration and foresight. It was Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Mellon, and other great philanthropists of Western Pennsylvania, he explained, who inspired him to give and, with equal importance, to think about how best to give. The foundation’s primary mission is to benefit higher education by providing ongoing and increasing financial support to six institutions important to Dietrich. It also provides support to nine other charitable beneficiaries. Because of Dietrich’s inspired vision, generations of Western Pennsylvanians and the communities in which they live will enjoy the fruits of his remarkable philanthropy.