University of Pittsburgh
August 14, 2001


Contact:  412-624-4147

August 15, 2001

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh will continue its proud tradition as freshman women once again walk the path of their predecessors to receive the "Gift of Light" during the 81st annual Lantern Night Ceremony, while freshman men receive the "Gift of Strength" at the seventh Night of the Panther Ceremony. Both events take place on Sunday, August 26.

The women will gather in the Cathedral of Learning Commons Room at 7 p.m. and process to the Heinz Memorial Chapel for the 7:30 p.m. ceremony. The men will assemble at 7:30 p.m. in the William Pitt Union Ballroom for a procession to their at 7:45 p.m. ceremony in the Commons Room.

The women carry unlit lanterns to their ceremony in the chapel and illuminate the walkway as they return with lighted lanterns to the Commons Room for a joint reception with the Night of the Panther participants. Men receive a symbolic panther pin during their ceremony.

Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will give the University Welcome at the Lantern Night event. Mary Robb Jackson, Pitt Alumnae Council's 2001 "Distinguished Alumna," will give the Freshman Address to the Lantern Night participants. Jackson, a KDKA TV reporter, is a 1974 College of Arts and Sciences graduate.

Carol Carter, vice chancellor of Institutional Advancement, will give the University Welcome to the freshman men. Robert P. Randall, president and CEO of TRACO, is the Night of the Panther speaker. Randall is a 1965 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The lanterns symbolize the women's quest for knowledge and truth, and lanterns serve as an inspiration for the "light of learning." They are replicas of the lanterns used at the time of the University's founding in 1787 and are gifts to the women from Pitt alumnae interested in preserving this proud tradition.

The Night of the Panther Ceremony is intended to convey to the men what Lantern Night has represented to the women. Since the late 1700s, the panther has stood for the strength and beauty of the Pitt community, its buildings, and its traditions.

The Alumnae Council of the Pitt Alumni Association and the Office of Student Activities cosponsor Lantern Night, and the Division of Student Affairs and the Pitt Alumni Association cosponsor the Night of the Panther ceremony.

The media are invited to attend both ceremonies and the reception in the Cathedral of Learning Commons Room. For more information, call 412-624-8229.