University of Pittsburgh
December 6, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 7 -- Deborah Jeanne Gillotti believes it's important for women in leadership positions to be active and visible, especially in high-tech fields. That's why she has pledged $100,000 to the University of Pittsburgh Computer Science Department

The Deborah Jeanne Gillotti Endowed Equipment Fund will furnish the Interactive Learning Suite in the Multipurpose Academic Center, scheduled to open in 2002, with the most sophisticated and up-to-date software and equipment available now and in the future.

Gillotti, a 1977 Pitt graduate who earned dual degrees in economics and history, has had a diverse and successful career in the information technology field, including serving as the chief information officer for Starbucks Coffee Company and most recently as chief operations officer for Viathan Corporation, both based in Seattle.

"I wanted to sponsor something physically tangible and accessible on campus—something that could really make a difference for students in the information technology field," said Gillotti. "It's a great honor to be the first individual benefactor for the Multipurpose Academic Center and I hope my gift will inspire other alumni to consider similar bequests. I can't wait to see the finished product in 2002. It will be totally rewarding for me to see the facility in action and for students to know there is a real live person behind the plaque who wanted to help them better their future."

"We are very grateful for this gift which will allow us to equip the new building with a state-of-the-art interactive learning classroom," said Rami Melhem, chairman of Pitt's computer science department. "Both undergraduate and graduate computer science students will benefit from this facility which will be used for teaching Java and web-based networking, advanced computer graphics, and interactive collaborative computing."