University of Pittsburgh
May 24, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, May 25 -- The University of Pittsburgh will honor General Matthew B. Ridgway, considered by many as a true hero of the Korean War, by officially dedicating the center that bears his name during a ceremony beginning at 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 30, on the first floor of Posvar Hall, 230

S. Bouquet Street, in Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in 1895 at Fort Monroe, Virginia, Ridgway, like his father, was a graduate of West Point. Although he did not see action in World War I, during World War II, Ridgway was an inspiration on the battle field.

"His style of leadership often exposed him to enemy fire and his close calls were legendary," said Donald Goldstein, Pitt professor and military historian. "Ridgway emerged from World War II as a three-star general with a chest full of medals and an enviable reputation."

Ridgway assumed command of the 8th Army in Korea on December 26, 1951. He was put in charge of an army in full retreat but, by resolution and sharp decisiveness, he turned defeat into victory in what many critics have called one of the greatest turn-arounds in recent military history. On April 11, 1951, he was appointed Allied Commander in Chief of the UN Command in Japan, succeeding General Douglas MacArthur. In May, 1952, he was named Allied Supreme Commander in Europe succeeding Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was appointed Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army on August 15, 1953.

Ridgway retired on September 15, 1955, and lived in Pittsburgh until his death in 1995. His financial contribution led to the creation of the Ridgway Center for International Studies at Pitt. Established in 1988, the Ridgway Center for International Security Studies addresses, in innovative ways, the new security challenges facing the United States and the international community. Located in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the Ridgway Center's focus is on research, education and training, and outreach.

The Ridgway Center dedication will be preceded by a wreath laying ceremony, at 10 a.m., at the Korean War Memorial on Pittsburgh's North Side.

Both activities are the next in a series of commemorative events planned by the Pittsburgh Committee for the Commemoration of the Korean War, whose members include representatives of the University of Pittsburgh; the Korean War Veterans Association of Western Pennsylvania and the Korean War Veterans Color Guard; Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum; Stars & Stripes Omnimedia, Inc. (; the Pittsburgh Pirates; National City Bank of Pennsylvania; the Veterans Administration; Pitt Army ROTC and Alumni; and city, county, and state government.

For more information about these or future events, call 412-648-7402 or visit the website at:

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