Pitt surprises chancellor Nordenberg with scholarship fund, building in his name

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University of Pittsburgh trustees today announced a $5 million scholarship fund and the naming of a new campus residence hall honoring chancellor Mark Nordenberg, citing his role in transforming Pitt in 17 years leading the school.

The announcement, kept a secret from Mr. Nordenberg and virtually all of campus until today's board meeting, follows the latest marker of Pitt's ascent: surpassing a $2 billion fundraising campaign goal, a rare achievement among Pennsylvania universities.

On a podium after the announcement, with clear emotion in his voice, Mr. Nordenberg said he is seldom at a loss for words.

"You never often see me with tears of joy either," he said. "When you named me the chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, you gave me the greatest professional gift that I ever could have hoped for."

A 10-story building, which will now be known as Mark A. Nordenberg Hall, is being built at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and University Place. It is expected to open in fall 2013 with 559 beds, a wellness center and street-level retail space.

The endowment income from the scholarship fund will assist the university "in its efforts to recruit, enroll, retain and graduate highly motivated and academically superior undergraduate students," according to a statement from the university.

A small group of people had been involved with raising that money since the start of the year.

Pitt will recognize students who win those merit-based scholarships as "Nordenberg scholars."

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Bill Schackner: bschackner@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1977. First Published October 26, 2012 1:00 AM


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