University of Pittsburgh
December 2, 2015

Pitt’s 2015 Nationality Rooms Decked in Holiday Décor through Jan. 17

The 24th annual multicultural celebration of culture and the holiday season to be held in Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning Dec. 6
Contact:  412-624-4147

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PITTSBURGH—The world’s diverse cultures will be celebrated at the University of Pittsburgh’s 2015 Nationality Rooms Holiday Open House. The annual celebration will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Commons Room of Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

Festivities will include international dance and musical performances intended to imbue the Commons Room with The Norwegian Nationality Classroomthe spirit of the holiday season. Each of Pitt’s Nationality Classroom Committees—local citizens who fundraise and support individual rooms on behalf of that room’s ethnic populations—will have handmade crafts and traditional foods for sale. Proceeds of sales will help fund the Nationality Rooms’ 2016 Summer Study Abroad Scholarships.

“Southwestern Pennsylvania possesses no greater symbol of cultural harmony and world peace than the University of Pittsburgh’s Nationality Classrooms,” said E. Maxine Bruhns, mistress of ceremonies and director of Pitt’s Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs. “Now in its 24th year, the Holiday Open House represents people from every imaginable walk of life coming together as citizens of the world to commemorate this joyous time of the year.”

Located on the first and third floors, which encircle the Commons Room, Pitt’s Nationality Classrooms are presently The English Nationality Classroomadorned in traditional holiday styles that reflect their ethnic heritages. Quo Vadis Guides, Pitt-student tour guides in national dress with extensive knowledge of each Nationality Classroom, will give tours of the rooms and offer detailed narratives of holiday tales and traditions celebrated by their ethnic communities.

Established in 1926 by then-Chancellor John Bowman, Pitt’s Nationality Classrooms pay tribute to the culture of ethnic groups that settled Allegheny County. Each of the 30 classrooms represents a time period prior to 1787, the year of the University’s founding and the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Used as university classrooms, the Nationality Rooms are maintained and supported through a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh and these cultural groups and governments.

The Nationality Classrooms will be decked in holiday décor through Jan. 17, 2016. Daily tours, including audio-guided The Yugoslav Nationality Classroomtours, are available to the general public on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. as well as 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, with all weekday tours ending at 4 p.m. Tours are $4 for adults and $2 for children. Nationality Classroom tours will be suspended Dec. 24-26, 2015, as well as Jan. 1, 2016, for Pitt’s winter recess. For more information, visit or call 412-624-6000.