University of Pittsburgh
August 21, 2002

Pitt's Annual Lantern Night and Night of the Panther Ceremonies To Be Held Aug. 25

Contact:  412-624-4147

August 22, 2002

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh will continue a proud tradition on Sunday as freshman women once again walk the path of their predecessors in the 82nd annual Lantern Night Ceremony, while freshman men participate in the eighth annual Night of the Panther Ceremony.

This year marks the first time that parents and grandparents of legacy students––students whose family members participated in past ceremonies—are invited to be flame-bearers for the freshman women, who will gather in the Cathedral of Learning Commons Room at 7 p.m. and process to Alumni Hall's Connolly Ballroom for the 7:30 p.m. ceremony.

The Night of the Panther participants will gather in the William Pitt Union Ballroom and process to the Cathedral of Learning Commons Room for their 7:30 p.m. ceremony. Parents and grandparents of legacy freshman men are also invited to participate in the Panther pinning ceremony.

The women will carry unlit lanterns to their ceremony in Alumni Hall 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. The men will receive a symbolic panther pin during their ceremony.


Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will give the University welcome at the Lantern Night event and Valerie McDonald Roberts––a former Pittsburgh councilwoman who is Allegheny County's recorder of deeds and the Pitt Alumnae Council's 2002 Distinguished Alumna—will give the Freshman Address to the Lantern Night participants. Roberts is a summa cum laude alumna of Pitt, earning the Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology degree in 1977 and the Master of Science in Forensic Chemistry degree in 1979.

Keith E. Schaefer, a 1971 Pitt Bachelor of Arts degree recipient in economics and political science and president-elect of the Pitt Alumni Association, will give the Alumni Welcome at the Night of the Panther Ceremony, and Velma Scantlebury, M.D., who completed a fellowship in transplantation at Pitt and is associate professor of surgery in Pitt's School of Medicine, will give the Freshman Address to the Night of the Panther participants.

Special guest Helen R. Sawyer, who earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in education at Pitt in 1934 and 1966, respectively, will travel from State College to accompany the women during the ceremony. Sawyer served as president of the Pitt Women's Alumni Association. In addition, she was a member of the General Alumni Association, the board of directors of the Annual Giving Fund, the Athletic Council, the Bicentennial Committee, and the Alumni Education Committee, and she served as director of the Bicentennial Scholarship for Women Fund. Sawyer also taught health and physical education in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

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