University of Pittsburgh
May 9, 2000


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PITTSBURGH, May 9 -- At a ceremony today, the University of Pittsburgh officially marked the dedication of Wesley W. Posvar Hall. The building, formerly called Forbes Quadrangle, was renamed in honor of Pitt's 15th chancellor, who retired in 1991.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg cited Posvar for his "substantial and sustained contributions" to the growth and development of the University. "Under Wesley Posvar's leadership, Pitt grew in size, in educational excellence, in cutting-edge research, in service to the community, and in international stature," Nordenberg said.

He noted that it was especially fitting that one of Posvar Hall's main tenants was the University Center for International Studies, because "Dr. Posvar's global vision led to the University's recognition as one of America's foremost universities in international studies," with links to more than 200 institutions around the world.

Pitt Board Chairman J.W. Connolly said it would be hard to identify many individuals who had had a greater positive impact on the University of Pittsburgh than Posvar. "His talent and vision contributed in large measure to the development of the University into one of the world's preeminent centers of academic medicine and research," Connolly said, "and it is fitting that he receive this recognition for all that he has done to advance the University."

Nordenberg added that the entire University community was cognizant of Posvar's legacy. "Dr. Posvar helped create an institution not only of great accomplishment, but also of great potential. All of us now at the University, as beneficiaries of his legacy, are committed to building on his many contributions as we strive to achieve even greater excellence in the years ahead."

Posvar became the 15th Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh in June of 1967. During his term in office, the University's operating funds increased seven-fold, from $90 million in FY68 to $630 million in FY90; the University's endowment increased three-fold, from $81 million to $257 million, and Pitt was elected to the Association of American Universities, a select group of the top research universities in the nation. A number of new academic units were created during his tenure, including the Honors College, the School of Health Related Professions, the University Center for International Studies, the Center for Philosophy of Science, and the University Center for Social and Urban Research. At the time of his retirement in 1991, he was the longest continuously serving president among the member institutions of the Association of American Universities.

The newly named Wesley W. Posvar Hall is one of the University's primary academic buildings. Among the units housed in it are the University Center for International Studies, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Education, and the departments of Africana Studies, Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, and Sociology.

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