University of Pittsburgh
October 22, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 20 -- More than 1,500 prominent alumni, donors, and friends of the University of Pittsburgh from around the country are expected to take part in Discovery Weekend, on Friday and Saturday, October 27 and 28. The event, which will mark the public launch of Pitt's capital campaign, is designed to showcase the new Pitt – a University that is on the move and improving by almost every standard of measure.

"Our goal for the weekend has been quite simple," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "We want to remind people that Pitt is a University with a proud past, an exciting present, and an even brighter future."

He noted that the weekend's theme – "Discover a World of Possibilities" – underscores Pitt's noble role in helping students develop their full potential and in supporting faculty work that contributes to healthier, richer, more productive lives.

"Generation after generation of young women and men, from this region and beyond, come to the University of Pittsburgh to discover new ways to create a future for themselves, their families, and society. And our faculty includes pioneering researchers and scholars from a broad range of disciplines. We believe that this weekend will enable Pitt's most dedicated supporters to see first hand what students are learning, what the faculty are investigating, and where the future they are creating may take us," he said.

Entertainment, education, and enjoyment will be the hallmarks of the weekend activities, which are designed to demonstrate the level of excellence throughout the University, according to Discovery Weekend co-chairs Pitt Trustees Suzanne Broadhurst and Cynthia Roth.

"This promises to be an inspiring and festive weekend, where the participants will meet a diversity of people, eat great food, and enjoy new educational experiences. They will gain insights about the campus today and learn the important role they can play in its future," Broadhurst said.

"This will be a journey of discovery for everyone who takes part in the weekend, and we are confident that they will return home with a new sense of excitement about the University, its achievements, and its exceptionally bright future," Roth added.

The weekend will kick off on Friday with presentations by two of Pitt's most prominent alumni in the field of athletics. Pat Croce, president of the Philadelphia 76ers and author of I Feel Great and You Will Too!, will speak in

121 Lawrence Hall at 10 a.m. Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and Panther great Mike Ditka will speak in 121 Lawrence at noon. Both men will be among the 33 outstanding alumni who will take part in the Legacy Laureate induction ceremony later that day in the Masonic Temple.

Chancellor Nordenberg will address the participants at 4 p.m., offering them news about the exciting advances taking place at the University, and his thoughts on Pitt's future.

Friday evening will include dinners on campus and at 22 private homes near the University. The evening will conclude with a performance by political impersonator Jim Morris, and a dessert buffet, featuring a special dessert created by Pitt alumnus Ferdinand Metz, president of the Culinary Institute of America.

Education, research, and public service – the heart of the University's enterprise – will be the focus throughout the day on Saturday. Discovery Weekend attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a learning adventure, as more than 40 separate programs offer an insider's view of the exciting work being carried out at Pitt. Presentations by all of Pitt's schools, colleges, and regional campuses will cover topics ranging from e-commerce to bioterrorism, from virtual art museum tours to gamma knife radiosurgery, from human genetics to computer engineering, and dozens more.

The climax of the weekend will come Saturday evening, with "Launch 2000 – The Campaign for the University of Pittsburgh," an entertaining announcement event at Carnegie Music Hall. The event will combine theater, music, comedy, film, and more, including original scores composed for the evening by Marvin Hamlisch, and Pitt's own Nathan Davis. The performance will conclude with the official launch of the capital campaign.

But the evening doesn't end there. The audience members will adjourn to the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning for an international buffet, followed by a spectacular light show illuminating the Cathedral of Learning as it has never been seen before.



NOTE: See accompanying schedules for details of the Discovery Weekend activities.


Friday, October 27

10 a.m. Presentation by Pitt alumnus Pat Croce, president of the Philadelphia

76ers and author of I Feel Great and You Will Too!


Noon Presentation by Pittsburgh Panther great and Pro Football Hall of Fame

inductee Mike Ditka.


3 p.m. Legacy Laureate Induction Ceremony -- 33 alumni make up the inaugural class of Legacy Laureates, a new program developed to recognize alumni for their personal and career achievements. The laureates were on campus during the week to share their experience and advice with today's students.


4 p.m. State of the University Address -- Chancellor Mark Nordenberg will review the exciting advances taking place at the University, and share his thoughts on Pitt's future.


5:30 p.m. Leadership Dinners – University and community notables will host dinners for the Discovery Weekend participants at 22 private homes located near the University.


8:30 p.m. Adventures in Politics – Bill Clinton, Al Gore and George W. Bush will appear in the person of impersonator Jim Morris, whose brand of political humor has been seen on the Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Today, and CNN.


9:15 p.m. Dessert Buffet – an array of desserts, featuring a signature dessert created specifically for Discovery Weekend by Pitt alumnus Ferdinand Metz, president of the Culinary Institute of America.


Saturday, October 28

9 a.m. – Discovery Tracks – 45 half-hour presentations by faculty from all

2. p.m. of the University's schools, colleges, and regional campuses

showcasing the cutting-edge research, education, and public service programs taking place at Pitt.


7 p.m. Launch 2000 – The Campaign for the University of Pittsburgh – The Discovery Weekend attendees will all gather for an entertaining announcement event featuring music, film, theater, jazz, song, comedy and more, all on one stage at the Carnegie Music Hall. The event will include welcoming remarks by event co-chairs Suzy Broadhurst and Cynthia Roth, both Pitt Board members; remarks by Pitt Board Chair

J.W. Connelly; videos of past, present and future accomplishment and directions for the University; video greetings from Marvin Hamlisch and performance of the original score he composed for the evening; an "Our Town" parody featuring Theatre Department Chair Buck Favorini; a jazz interlude composed and performed by Nathan Davis; a performance by the Pitt women's gymnastic team; a reading by Mary Robb Jackson; and the event will conclude with the official launch of the capital campaign by Chancellor Mark Nordenberg.


8 p.m. - Celebrate the Possibilities -- Audience members will make a

10 p.m. candlelight procession from Carnegie Music hall to a 13,000 square foot clear vinyl tent on the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning. There, they will enjoy an international buffet, while watching a spectacular light show illuminating the Cathedral of Learning as it has never been seen before.



For times and specific locations of any of the following presentations, contact Ken Service (412-624-4238) or Ron Cichowicz (412-624-4007) in the University's Office of News & Information.

Faculty and College of Arts and Sciences

Strawberries and Genes

What can the strawberry patch teach us about human genetics? Why can't a strawberry be as big as a watermelon? This session will reveal how genes and the environment interact to produce certain traits, potentially leading to improved agricultural crops.

Destination: Unlimited

International travel at its best—you don't even need an e-ticket! Join experts at the state-of-the-art Language Learning Resource Center as they take you on a virtual tour of your favorite travel destinations and bring to life the interactivity of language learning in the 21st century.

Building Blocks

Sure, everything is made of molecules, but did you ever actually see one? Learn how to visualize and graphically manipulate these ubiquitous little over-achievers using the latest computer technology.

Get a Handle on the Invisible Hand

How do you make economic decisions? Find out at the internationally recognized Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Laboratory. As a participant in a state-of-the-art, computerized game designed to test economic behavior, you'll have the chance to exercise your business acumen and win real prizes.

Virtual Mona Lisa

Travel to 16th-century Florence and view the world's most famous smile. Go wherever (and whenever) your taste in art takes you, courtesy of the brand new digitized image bank and database.

School of Engineering

The Birth of a New Product

Ever wonder how an idea becomes a new product? See for yourself at the School of Engineering's innovative new product incubator, and get a preview of what kinds of products and inventions are on the horizon.


Visit the Biotech Center and see engineers tackle health care problems from the molecular level (pharmaceuticals and toxicology) to the organic level (artificial organs).

Steel City of the Future

Green Steel is the common name for a revolutionary invention developed through a collaborative effort between the University of Pittsburgh and the steel industry. You'll hear about the genesis of this lead-free steel that could potentially dominate a billion-dollar world market and how it will ultimately benefit the University community.

High-Tech Hot Spot

Computers run everything from cars to dishwashers nowadays, and computer engineers are needed to design and build all of them. This session will introduce Pitt's young and successful computer engineering program, and give you a chance to work in the state-of-the-art Jurenko Computer Architecture Laboratory.

School of Medicine

Gamma Knife

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is one of the most advanced, promising, and minimally invasive ways to treat brain disease. Explore a Gamma Knife facility and find out from top neuro-surgeons why this technology is one of the hottest new developments in their field.

Pet Project

By adding Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to their arsenal of medical imaging technologies, doctors can see what's going on inside their patients like never before, without invasive surgery. Tour Pitt's PET and Magnetic Resonance (MR) facilities and see for yourself.


Visit the Biotech Center and see the exciting genetics and artificial organ technology being explored there.

Long-Distance Medicine

Teleconferencing technology lets physicians in Pittsburgh observe surgery in Paris without a plane ticket. This session will highlight the educational and clinical uses of teleconferencing and other communications technology.

Patient Simulator

In this program, you'll watch in amazement as a computerized mannequin reacts and responds to a doctor's visit. The patient simulator sleeps, breathes, makes sounds, and can be programmed to have a cough, a heart murmur, high blood pressure, and many other medical conditions. Come glimpse the future of 21st-century medicine.

Not Your Father's Microscope

Forget about high school biology and peering through a microscope at dead organisms on slides. In this visit to the Center for Biologic Imaging, you'll see how cutting-edge tools can produce stunning, colorful, and moving images of molecular activity in living cells, tissues, and even whole animals.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

On Top of the Underworld

Discover fascinating connections among high-ranking politicians, businessmen, and organized crime figures. In this session, students at Pitt's Ridgway Center for International Security Studies reveal their cutting-edge methods for charting crime, corruption, and terrorism.

Katz Graduate School of Business

Test Your Financial IQ

With the e-commerce explosion and proliferation of companies, investment opportunities have never been greater. But, are these companies worth it? In this session, find out how to evaluate a company's worth and its investment potential.

Customers and E-Business: Rating the Best Web Sites

In the e-commerce environment, it's a challenge to keep tabs on who your customers are, let alone provide them with what they need. Come see which companies are making the best use of today's virtual business-to-business and business-to-customer marketplace.

An International Flair

What do the Czech Republic, Brazil, Asia, Western Europe, and Pitt have in common? Katz International Executive MBA programs are either there or in the works! In this session, find out Katz's exciting plans for continued growth—and get the low-down on their site in Sao Paulo via live feed.

Graduate School of Public Health

Promise of Prevention

Is it possible for women at the highest level of risk for breast cancer to be identified? Can successful drug therapies be applied to this disease? Learn the answers—as well as the promises for prevention—from a top research team comprised of a geneticist, statistician, epidemiologist, and clinician.

Prevent a Heart Attack

Forty percent of adult men and a quarter of all adult women are likely to have a heart attack in their lifetime. In this session, you'll learn about new methods for early detection of coronary heart disease and new therapies used to prevent and treat heart attacks.

Bioterrorism: The Whole Story

Media coverage of potential bioterrorist attacks paints a frightening, but sometimes exaggerated, picture. There's no question that bioterrorism is a horrible reality, but much is being done to prepare for and respond to these attacks. Learn how government, public health, medical, and other disciplines and agencies have readied themselves to deal with the modern-age threat.

School of Pharmacy

Drugs and DNA

Does that after-dinner coffee keep you up at night? The answer can depend in part on your genetic makeup. Participate in a mock clinical research trial through the new Center for Pharmacogenetics, and see how scientists conduct a formal investigation into genetic influences on the effects of drugs.

Salk Revisited

1955 brought us Disneyland, Gunsmoke, H&R Block, and one of the University of Pittsburgh's finest hours: the discovery of the Salk polio vaccine. Come hear the story of how eight years of high-powered, fast-paced research at Pitt yielded this major breakthrough in modern medicine.

School of Information Sciences

Old Tales in a New Millennium

Share the story of storytelling, from the first legends told 'round the campfire to the books we read by the fireplace today. Afterward, take a moment to browse through a special collection of the Mister Roger's Neighborhood Archives.

Keeping Track

The FBI and UPS are hooked on GPS (Global Positioning Systems), the latest in navigational technologies. Now it's your turn to give it a try. Find out how GPS really works, witness the latest in wireless communication, and learn why top state officials are so impressed by the state-of-the-art technology atlas created right here at Pitt.

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Fight Back(Ache)

Is it true that back pain is not a result of heavy lifting, but can simply be caused by just bending over to pick up a pencil? In this session learn some invaluable tips for getting all that pain off your back.

On the Move

From custom seating, to power-assisted wheelchairs, to advanced robotics, Pitt researchers are working to ensure that persons with physical disabilities obtain maximum mobility, which increases independence. Learn about the latest advances in mobility technology, and gain insight into the future of rehabilitation science.

School of Social Work

Community Heroes

Every day, social work alumni touch the lives of countless individuals in our greater community. Listen as Pitt alums from the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging, United Cerebral Palsy, and YouthWorks share their experiences and insights.

School of Nursing

No Bones About It

Osteoporosis poses a real threat to both men and women over the age of 65. Find out how prevention and early detection are key in combating this debilitating and sometimes fatal disease.

School of Law

Justice for All

How is new technology helping people better understand the law? Find out how JURIST: The Legal Education Network, an award-winning, international Web-based legal education and information service developed right here at Pitt, is having a global impact.

School of Education

Teach Your Children Well

We try to help our children learn by taking them to science museums, reading to them...but what really works? In this session you'll hear about some of the latest research on parent-child interaction, and have a chance to share your own insights and experiences.

School of Dental Medicine

The Root of Health

Tooth and gum diseases have been linked to cardiac and other systemic diseases. In this session, learn about oral health, its relationship to overall health, and the genetics behind oral and other diseases.

University Honors College

University Honors College Research Fair

Interact with some of the University's most talented undergraduate students at this informal research fair. View the results of their distinctive research investigations in a conversational poster format, showcasing undergraduate accomplishments in the arts, sciences, and professional schools.

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Regional Communities Online

See how your town can be a civic computing community with the Civic Action Network, a sophisticated one-stop Internet resource offering information about regional and hometown community assets, activities, services, and businesses.

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

E-lection 2000

Will the Internet do for today's presidential hopefuls what TV has done in the past (remember the JFK/Nixon debate)? This session will give you an up-to-the-minute look at how candidates are using or misusing this new medium in their quest for the White House.

University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Buried Treasure

From AD 1000-1500, Native Americans known as the Monongahela hunted and foraged, built campfires, and prepared food in nearby Greene County. What they left behind, excavated through the Summer Field Program in Archaeology and discussed in this session, reveals a powerful picture of their daily life and culture.

University of Pittsburgh at Titusville

Don't Let Your Computer Byte You!

Oh, your aching back! Now-you have a headache. Believe it or not, your workstation might be to blame. Find out why in this fast-paced, interactive session.

University Center for International Studies

Explore China from Here

Travel to China without leaving Pittsburgh! In this interactive session you'll use CD-ROM technology that combines advanced scholarship with rich and varied visuals. See for yourself why faculty and students in Pitt's Asian Studies program are far ahead of the pack.

Center for Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of Science in Action

Today it is rare to find a rational dialogue regarding the compatibility of evolution and Christianity. Yet during the 19th century, Rev. Asa Gray was Charles Darwin's leading American defender—and a Calvinist! Join us for a dramatized dialogue between Darwin and Gray—based on their letters—on the nature of Darwinism and its implications for religious belief.

University Library System

Historic Pittsburgh Digitized

If you're from western Pennsylvania, learn more about your regional roots. You'll go on-line and receive step-by-step guidance on searching the region's past, with access to hundreds of books written as early as the 1700s. Pitt boasts the world's largest digital collection of books on a single region.