University of Pittsburgh
June 19, 2005

University of Pittsburgh Will Induct 14 Donors into the Prestigious Cathedral of Learning Society

Inductees have given lifetime gifts to Pitt totaling $1 million or more
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh will celebrate the philanthropic spirit of 14 donors as they are inducted into the Cathedral of Learning Society at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 24, in the Commons Room of the University's landmark Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood.

Established in 1999, the Cathedral of Learning Society recognizes individuals who have given lifetime gifts to the University totaling $1 million or more. The society now has 53 members, including the 14 new inductees. A complete list of members can be found at

"The Cathedral of Learning is the most widely recognized symbol of our University's high aspirations," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "Through the Cathedral of Learning Society, we recognize those individuals whose exceptional generosity has helped us advance our ambitious agenda as a leader in education, a pioneer in research, and a partner in regional development. Their support of our work has been extraordinary, and we are deeply indebted to them."

This year's Cathedral of Learning Society inductees are listed below.

William R. Baierl-Baierl, chair and president of the Baierl Family of Dealerships, one of the region's leading automotive dealerships, received the B.S. degree in physical education in 1951 from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a resident of Allison Park, Pa.

Baierl's gifts support the Baierl Student Recreation Center, the Baierl Basketball Center, the Baierl Scholarship Fund in Athletics, and the Karl C.H. Oermann Scholarship Fund in Education. His generosity also has made possible renovations to the Fitzgerald Field House and the purchase of new marching band uniforms. He shared the distinction of being the first automobile dealer in the region to support the Department of Athletics through the Wheels of Support initiative.

Baierl is a 2004 Distinguished Alumni Fellow, a charter Pitt Alumni Association Life Member, a recipient of the Bicentennial Medallion and the Golden Panther of the Year Award, and a member of the Varsity Letter Club, Panther Club, and 1787 Society. He was a member of the Athletics Board of Visitors and Alumni Council.

The late George Means Bevier and the late Eva M. Bevier-George Bevier received the B.S. degree in mining from Pitt in 1913 and was one of the first two graduates of the Department of Oil and Gas in Pitt's School of Mines.

Bevier spent his career as a geologist with private companies and the U.S. government and, later, as an independent geologist. He is credited with inventing a seismograph that is unique to the petroleum industry.

Bevier was presented by Pitt with the honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1937, named a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus in 1964, inducted into the 1787 Society, and in 1993 posthumously awarded the Bicentennial Medallion.

The Beviers provided the initial funding to build the School of Engineering's first library, which was named the Bevier Engineering Library, in 1954. They established, through their estate, the George M. Bevier Endowed Fund in the School of Engineering. Prior to their bequest, they created the Bevier Medical Research Fund in Pitt's School of Medicine and the George M. Bevier Fund for the use and support of programs in bioengineering, sustainability, and energy and energy resources.

The Blaisdell Family-The Blaisdell Family includes Sarah B. Dorn and Harriett B. Wick, daughters of the late George G. Blaisdell, who founded the Zippo Manufacturing Co., and Blaisdell's grandchildren, Paul C. Duke, George B. Duke, Barbara Wick Kearney, and D. Blaise Wick.

The family created the Blaisdell Fine Arts Challenge, which raised funds to build Blaisdell Hall, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford's fine arts and communication arts building, and to establish the Zippo/Case Technology Challenge, a $1 million challenge to raise funds to enhance and maintain campus technology. Additionally, the family has provided scholarships for more than 80 Pitt-Bradford students annually through the Miriam Barcroft Blaisdell Scholarship.

Sarah Dorn and Harriett Wick were honored in 1993 with the Presidential Medal of Distinction from Pitt-Bradford, and George B. Duke serves on the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Advisory Board.

Herb Boyer and Grace Boyer-Herb Boyer is cofounder and director of Genentech, Inc., the country's first major biotechnology company, and vice chair of Allergan, Inc. He also is president of the Herbert & Marigrace Boyer Foundation.

In the midst of a distinguished academic career as a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, where he gained international renown as a pioneer in biotechnology during the 1970s, Boyer helped to create the means to cut apart and combine DNA, launching the new scientific field of recombinant DNA technology, or gene splicing.

A member of the University's Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2002, Boyer is the recipient of Pitt's 1984 Distinguished Alumni Award in Biological Sciences. He also was awarded the Doctor of Science degree, Honoris Causa, when he delivered Pitt's commencement address in 2000.

Boyer received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biological sciences from Pitt in 1960 and 1963, respectively. The recipient of numerous honors, he and his research colleagues have been recognized with the 2004 Shaw Prize in Life Sciences and Medicine, the 2004 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, and the Albert and Mary Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research.

With his wife, Grace, Boyer established the Herbert W. and Grace Boyer Chair in Molecular Biology in Pitt's Department of Biological Sciences.

A native of Derry, Pa., he now resides in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

John A. Jurenko and Ruth R. Jurenko-John Jurenko is the retired vice president of sales and marketing at ADTRAN, a company he cofounded in 1985, whose products provide Internet access, telecommunications, and computer networking via copper telephone lines. Residents of Huntsville, Ala., John and Ruth Jurenko are trustees of the Jurenko Foundation.

John Jurenko, who earned the B.S. degree in electrical engineering at Pitt in 1956, is a loyal volunteer. He is a member of Pitt's Alumni Association and the School of Engineering Board of Visitors. In 1999, he was named Pitt's Distinguished Alumnus in Electrical Engineering.

He and his wife have established the John A. and Ruth R. Jurenko Endowed Professorship in Computer Engineering, the John A. and Ruth R. Jurenko Computer Engineering Program Development Fund, the John A. Jurenko Graduate Fellowship in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the John A. Jurenko Facilities Endowment for the Department of Electrical Engineering, the John A. Jurenko Endowed Scholarship, the John A. Jurenko Computer Architecture Laboratory in Computer Engineering, and the John A. and Ruth R. Jurenko Laboratory in Computer Engineering.

Ronald G. Linaburg and Judith K. Linaburg-Ronald Linaburg, an endodontist, is the founder and president of Associated Dental Specialists and the chair of Van Dyk Business Systems, which he co-owns with his wife, Judith.

A resident of Mt. Lebanon, Pa., Linaburg received the B.S. degree from Pitt's College of Arts and Sciences in 1965 and the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Pitt's School of Dental Medicine in 1968. He is a member of Delta Sigma Phi and the Varsity Letter Club and a life member of the Pitt Alumni Association.

A recipient of a Pitt football scholarship, Linaburg established with his wife the Ronald Gene Linaburg, DMD, and Judith K. Linaburg Endowed Athletic Scholarship Fund to help aspiring student athletes realize the promise of a college education. They also have contributed generously to the Chancellor's Discretionary Fund.

The late Norman G. Mathieson-Mathieson received his medical degree from Pitt's School of Medicine in 1934. He worked as an ophthalmologist in Louisville, Ky., until his retirement in 1970.

Throughout his life, Mathieson was a generous contributor to the Medical Alumni General Fund, and, last year, a bequest from his estate, which was then the largest gift ever given to the School of Medicine by an alumnus, created the Dr. and Mrs. N. Gardner Mathieson Scholarship Fund in the School of Medicine.

Mathieson was a member of Pitt's 1787 Society.

Mark E. Pasquerilla-As chair and CEO of Crown American, Pasquerilla has generously supported the Starzl Transplantation Institute, the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and numerous scholarships and programs for the arts, including the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, the Winter Jazz Fund, the Blackington Endowment for the Performing Arts, the Advantage Scholarship Fund, the Johnstown Campus Award Fund, the Pasquerilla Family Fine Arts Endowment Fund, the Frank J. and Sylvia T. Pasquerilla Lecture Series Endowment Fund, the Pasquerilla Scholarship Fund, the UPMC Cancer Centers Development Fund, the Mark M. and Leah M. Pasquerilla Women's Cancer Research Fund, and the UPJ Concert Fund.

A resident of Johnstown, Pa., he serves on the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees, the Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board, and Pitt's University Center for International Studies. He has served as a member of the Governor of Pennsylvania's Economic Development Partnership Council, the Education Committee for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage Preservation Committee, among other organizations. He also established the Pasquerilla Cancer Genomics and Proteomics Research Fund.

Lester Rice-Rice is vice chair and part owner of KOA Speer Electronics and vice president of the Mukaiyama-Rice Foundation. He has been a generous contributor to the renovation and expansion of the Frame-Westerberg Commons, the center of student life at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. He also has been instrumental in funding the KOA Speer Electronics Scholarship and has contributed generously to Pitt-Bradford's Blaisdell Fine Arts Challenge, the Earl and Agnes Buchheit Family Scholarship, and the Jeffrey Brian Kessel Memorial Scholarship.

Rice is on the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board and was awarded the Pitt-Bradford Presidential Medal of Distinction in 1997.

David Scaife-DSF Charitable Foundation Chair David Scaife, a resident of Pittsburgh, is a generous supporter of the health sciences at Pitt, having contributed to the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute's Center for Environmental Oncology. Scaife also has supported Pitt's School of Education, School of Information Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, and Center for Minority Health.

Scaife is the owner of the Race Car Museum, which houses one of the most remarkable collections of automobiles in the world, including such makes as Porsche, Jaguar, and Ferrari. In 2000, he assumed ownership of Auto Palace Porsche, Pittsburgh's largest authorized Porsche dealer.

He earned the B.A. degree in history at Pitt in 1989, graduating cum laude.

Jennie Scaife-Scaife, chair and trustee of the Scaife Family Foundation, has furthered the work of neurological researchers at Pitt through her support of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Research initiatives in Pitt's School of Social Work, School of Arts and Sciences, and Learning Research and Development Center also have benefited from her generous support.

A resident of Palm Beach, Fla., Scaife has demonstrated through the foundation her commitment to strengthening families and advocating for the health and welfare of women and children.

The late Christopher C. Walthour Jr.-In 2003, Walthour bequeathed his entire estate to the University's School of Law; the gift established the Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair and the Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair.

A decorated World War II veteran, Walthour attained the rank of captain in the U.S. Army and served for several years as a prosecutor in the Japanese War Crimes Trials. After his military discharge, he returned to his native Greensburg, Pa., where he pursued his law practice, serving as a partner in the law firm of Walthour and Garland. From 1947 to 2003, Walthour was president of Manor National Bank in Manor, Pa. He was a Law Fellow and a lifetime member of the Law Alumni Association.

Walthour graduated from Pitt's College of Arts and Sciences with a B.S. degree in 1939 and from Pitt's School of Law in 1942.

He was a member of Pitt's 1787 Society.

The Wheeler Family-Harold W. Wheeler Jr. of Somerset, Pa., is president and founder of Wheeler Brothers, Inc., a family-owned-and-operated automotive manufacturer and distributor. The family members include Mr. Wheeler and his wife, Joan; son Pete Wheeler III and his wife, Debi; son David Wheeler and his wife, Jennifer; son Paul Wheeler and his wife, Stacy; and daughter Barbara and her husband, Randy Davies. The senior Mr. Wheeler is the company's president as well as chair of the Wheeler Family Charitable Foundation of Somerset, Pa.

Since the founding of Wheeler Brothers as a small auto shop, the Wheeler family has built the company into a nationally recognized business, garnering awards from the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Defense Supply Centers in Richmond, Va., and Columbus, Ohio.

The Wheeler family generously supports the Sam and Sophia Zacharias Scholarship Fund in the School of Arts and Sciences and cancer research and patient care programs at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Kenneth R. Woodcock-Woodcock, of Washington, D.C., received the M.B.A. degree from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in 1966 and began a career that would take him to the senior vice presidency of AES Corporation, a leading global electric-power company; he retired in 2004.

Woodcock established the Woodcock Faculty Development Fund in the Katz School, and he continues his involvement with the University by serving on the Katz School's Board of Visitors and as a speaker in the Katz School Distinguished Speaker Series.

He has served on the boards of such organizations as the Council for International Understanding, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the Rhode Island Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Washington Concert Opera.