University of Pittsburgh
May 22, 2000


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PITTSBURGH, May 22 -- At a ceremony today, the University of Pittsburgh officially marked the dedication of Thomas Detre Hall of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. The building was renamed in honor of Thomas Detre, M.D., who retired as Pitt's senior vice chancellor for the health sciences in 1998.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg cited Dr. Detre for his leadership in the health sciences during "one of the most expansive periods of growth" in Pitt's history. "Tom Detre had a vision of what the health sciences at Pitt could be, and his commitment to implementing that vision helped transform Pitt's schools of the health sciences into recognized national programs and build the University's health center into one of the nation's premier academic health centers," Nordenberg said.

"Perhaps even more important," he added, "are the countless number of lives that have been improved and the suffering that has been alleviated as a result of his leadership."

Pitt Board Chairman J.W. Connolly called Dr. Detre "one of the most significant figures" in Pitt's recent past. "Pitt has been the beneficiary of his knowledge, his dedication, and his ability to attract the best talent to the University," Connolly said, "and we are a stronger institution today because of his efforts."

Thomas Detre, M.D., joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1973 as director of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) and chair of the psychiatry department of the School of Medicine. WPIC now houses eight federally funded Mental Health Clinical Research Centers emphasizing research on the causes of mental and addictive disorders and clinical trials of new psychiatric treatments.

In 1984, he was appointed senior vice chancellor for health sciences, overseeing the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, and Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He helped launch and secure funding for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and dozens of other multidisciplinary programs that have helped Pitt establish its reputation in the health sciences. Between 1985 and 1995, Pitt's market share of NIH funding increased from 1.3 percent to 2.31 percent, the largest increase of any institution in the nation.

The Thomas Detre Hall of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic houses inpatient psychiatric facilities, along with research laboratories and support functions.

University buildings are not generally named for living persons, but the Board of Trustees may make exceptions to recognize individuals who have "made substantial and sustained contributions to the University and who have retired from an active career."