University of Pittsburgh
April 29, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, April 30 -- More than 10,000 faculty, graduates, invited guests, family and friends are expected to attend the University of Pittsburgh's 1999 Commencement at 2 p.m., Monday, May 3 in the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.

The ceremony will open with a procession of the faculty and graduates in full academic regalia, followed by welcoming remarks from Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.

Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, known internationally for his work in transplantation, will be the main speaker at the commencement ceremonies. Starzl performed the first human liver transplant in 1963 and the first successful liver transplant in 1967. He joined the UPMC Health System as a professor of surgery in 1981. He now directs the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1992 and 1993, Starzl's team made medical history when surgeons performed two baboon-to-human liver transplants. Starzl himself had performed baboon kidney and chimpanzee liver transplants between 20 and 30 years ago. Starzl's national and international involvement includes membership in more than 56 professional and scientific organizations.

Katherine L. Stoehr, a graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences, will deliver remarks on behalf of the graduates, and Cynthia Roth, president of the Pitt Alumni Association, will welcome the new graduates into the ranks of the alumni.

In all, Pitt is conferring more than 5,900 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees this year to students at the main campus in Oakland and an additional 950 degrees to students at the four regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville. The four regional campuses will hold their own commencement ceremonies.

Students at Monday's commencement represent the following academic units on the Oakland campus: the Faculty and College of Arts and Sciences, the Honors College, the College of General Studies, and the Schools of Law, Engineering, Public and International Affairs, Business, Education, Social Work, Information Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Dental Medicine.