University of Pittsburgh
June 23, 2005

In a Surprise Announcement, Pitt Trustees Reveal Creation of New Endowed University Chair, Unique at Pitt, to Honor Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg's 10 Years of Leadership and to Recruit and Retain Top-Flight Faculty

Funded by Pitt trustees, alumni, and friends, $2.4 million endowment establishes the Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair, the 63rd endowed faculty position created during Pitt's $1 billion Discover a World of Possibilities fundraising campaign
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—In a surprise announcement this morning at the annual meeting of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees, Board Chair Ralph J. Cappy, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, revealed that members of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees, board members of the Pitt Alumni Association, and other Pitt alumni and friends have made a combined gift of $2.4 million to establish the endowed Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair, unique at Pitt, to honor Mark A. Nordenberg's 10 years of leadership as chancellor of the University; Nordenberg assumed leadership of Pitt at the annual June meeting of the board of trustees in 1995.

"This endowed chair indicates the extraordinary esteem in which we hold Mark Nordenberg," Cappy said in making his announcement, "not only as an individual and a leader who has brought the University to an unprecedented level of success and achievement, but also as a true academic at heart. And for a person who is a true academic, the highest honor one can bestow is to endow a faculty chair in his or her name in perpetuity."

Cappy also stated that he considers it "an honor to serve as chair of the board" during a period in which "Mark has led us to such great accomplishments" and "a pleasure to work diligently with Mark and his leadership team on achieving our goals."

The chair, the 63rd endowed faculty position to be funded during Pitt's $1 billion Discover a World of Possibilities fundraising campaign, is the first of its kind at the University in that it can be used to endow a chair in any of Pitt's 16 schools and colleges. It will, according to Cappy, "reward in perpetuity distinguished individual faculty members for the top-flight research, scholarship, and teaching we all prize at Pitt." The capital campaign, announced in October 2000, has, to date, raised more than $800 million in gifts and pledges and broken its record as the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Appointments to the new chair, as with all chairs at Pitt, will be made by the incumbent chancellor upon the recommendation of either the provost or the senior vice chancellor for the health sciences. It will be held by each honoree for the length of that faculty member's active Pitt academic career.

"Endowed chairs are critical to a university's ability to attract and retain truly exceptional faculty," said Pitt Provost James V. Maher. "The establishment of the Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair is a fitting testament to Chancellor Nordenberg's longstanding commitment—as a professor, as an academic administrator, and as a chancellor—to respect for faculty excellence."

"As someone who works closely with Mark Nordenberg on a day-to-day basis, I know how deeply he cares about students and faculty, because at his core, he is still the concerned, committed, and energized scholar he was when he first came to Pitt, as an assistant visiting professor, 28 years ago," commented Pitt Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement Albert J. Novak, the administrator in charge of the Discover a World of Possibilities campaign. "Therefore, I can think of no better way of honoring him than by creating this chair, which will benefit students and faculty members alike."

Donors interested in supporting the new endowed chair fund at any level may call the Pitt Office of Institutional Advancement at 1-800-817-8943 or 412-624-5814 or make gifts online at