University of Pittsburgh
April 29, 2010

Pitt African American Alumni Council Honors Provost James V. Maher and 2010 Graduates During 6th Annual Interfaith Baccalaureate Service May 1

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg to deliver special greetings during the service
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The leadership of the University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council (AAAC) will honor Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor James V. Maher during the council's 6th Annual Interfaith Baccalaureate Service at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, May 1, in the Lower Lounge of the University's William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The free public service celebrates academic achievement and honors graduating seniors and their families.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will deliver greetings and special remarks on behalf of the University; he also will greet students and their families after the ceremony. Dr. Maher, who announced in November that he would leave his current position and return to the Pitt faculty at the beginning of the next academic year or as soon after that as his successor can be in place, will be present to receive the AAAC's special recognition. Pitt Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Robert Hill will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event.

The baccalaureate message, titled "A Time of Change: Challenges and Opportunities," will be delivered by Ryan Parker, director of health sciences diversity for Pitt's schools of the health sciences.

Provost Maher is widely credited with helping to lead the University through a period of unparalleled progress. He has been Pitt's chief academic officer since 1994. During his years as provost, the University has made significant strides on wide-ranging fronts, including dramatically increasing applications for admission; elevating the academic credentials of admitted students and boosting enrollments; promoting instructional innovation and supporting the creative use of new teaching technologies; adding substantially to on-campus housing capacity and enriching the quality of student life; enhancing overall research strength while moving into critical new areas of inquiry and creating programs for the commercialization of technology; designing and implementing plans for the development of facilities and infrastructure that would support academic ambitions while maintaining fiscal discipline; and reaching out to alumni, donors, and other friends in markedly more effective ways.

The word baccalaureate is steeped in academic tradition. In use since at least the eighth century, baccalaureate has come to refer not only to the degree that is awarded at Commencement, but also to the spirituality that is part of achievement and aspiration. Following this year's celebration, the AAAC's Annual Senior Recognition Dinner will be held for graduates and their families.

For additional information about Baccalaureate, contact Valerie Njie at 412-779-2866 or