University of Pittsburgh
February 19, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 17 -- The Howard Heinz and Vira I. Heinz Endowments have authorized a grant of $12 million to the University of Pittsburgh. The grant is one of the largest foundation grants ever received by the University, and represents a solid endorsement of the University's accomplishments, leadership and direction. It also represents a strategic investment in emerging and long-established programs of excellence. The gift will support key initiatives in international studies, educational research, and environmental studies by providing financial flexibility and stability through endowment funding.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said the University was honored by the Heinz Endowments' gift. "The Heinz Endowments have a long and illustrious history of contributing to the betterment of our region and our nation," he said. "We are deeply grateful for the confidence that they have expressed in the University and its mission, and we are proud to be a partner with them in addressing the regional, national, and international concerns of the next century. We also hope this tremendous vote of confidence will inspire others in the community to consider supporting academic excellence and our University."

Nordenberg added that the Heinz Endowments' decision to provide endowment support in key areas is extremely important. "This grant will enhance our ability to compete nationally for the best students and professors and to forge innovative links among the University's different schools, departments and divisions in order to help address some of society's most critical problems. Because of their long-term impact, endowment gifts such as this one represent investments in future generations," he said.

The grant will support programs in environmental studies, international studies and educational research. "These areas, which reflect shared interests of the Heinz Endowments and the University, are crucial to the educational process and represent areas in which the University already provides national and international leadership," Nordenberg said.

Among the programs benefiting will be the University Center for International Studies (UCIS), the Institute for Advanced Study in Education (IASE), and several environmental studies programs. The endowment funds will provide UCIS with the flexibility to compete for the best international scholars and extend and enrich the University-wide agenda in international studies. Support will be provided to the IASE, housed in the University's nationally-renowned Learning Research and Development Center, to advance its goal of becoming the national intellectual center for people engaged in the practical work of improving the public schools of tomorrow. In the environmental area, the funds will provide enhanced support for the undergraduate Environmental Studies program, as well as make possible the introduction of a Green Construction and Manufacturing program in the School of Engineering, and a program in Environmental Law, Science and Policy in the School of Law.