The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will kick off its 60th anniversary celebration year on Tuesday, Sept. 5, by celebrating Founders’ Day from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Bromeley Quadrangle.
Other events planned for the year include a gallery show of historic photos from the Pitt-Bradford archives, special Alumni and Family Weekend Activities, and a 60th Anniversary Film Series. All events are free and open to the public.
The Founders’ Day celebration, which began as part of the university’s 50th anniversary year, is a free community event commemorating the first day of classes at Pitt-Bradford on Sept. 3, 1963.
This year’s event will include a complimentary lunch, chances to win Pitt-Bradford prizes, and a performance by Slick, the faculty-staff band. Slick consists of Dr. Drew Flanagan, assistant professor of history, on vocals; Alan Hancock, technical analyst, on lead guitar; Dr. Max Jensen, assistant professor of Spanish, on drums and vocals; Mary Kafferlin, library specialist, on bass; and Dr. Matt Kropf, associate professor of engineering technology, on keyboard.
The 2023 Founders’ Day celebration will also include a photo opportunity with a Pitt gold 1977 Volkswagen Westfalia camper owned by Kathryn and Steven Kloss. Kathryn Kloss is a member of the Pitt-Bradford staff.
From Sept. 5 through Oct 6., the KOA Art Gallery in Blaisdell Hall will hold an exhibition, “Pitt-Bradford: The Early Years,” of archival photos, including many taken by W. Forres Stewart, a well-known local photographer who worked for The Bradford Era for many years.
The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. A reception for the exhibit takes place at 2 p.m. Sept. 23 during Alumni and Family Weekend, which will also feature a lunch and panel discussion, “Pitt-Bradford at 60.”
The special luncheon for retirees, alumni, friends, family and students will feature a panel discussion of distinguished faculty, staff and alumni sharing first-hand stories, rumors, facts and legends about Pitt-Bradford and the people who shaped it. The luncheon is free, but reservations are required and may be made at upb.pitt.edu/afw or by contacting the Office of Alumni Engagement at 814-362-5091.
On Oct. 14, the university will launch a year-long anniversary film festival at 6 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. The films selected for the series have been curated by faculty members who will add context and lead discussions following the screenings.
In the first selection, Matthew Hileman, director of the Marilyn Horne Museum, and Dr. Nancy McCabe, professor of writing, will present the 1963 film “The Haunting,” a psychological thriller based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel “The Haunting of Hill House,” which later became the basis for a popular Netflix series by the same name.
More films in the series will be announced closer to their screening dates.
Pitt-Bradford was founded in 1963 as part of a three-campus expansion for the University of Pittsburgh that included campuses in Greensburg and Titusville.
Under the guidance of its first president, Dr. Donald Swarts, and chair of its Advisory Board, J. Bertram Fisher, Pitt-Bradford raised enough money from the Bradford community to renovate a few community buildings and hire faculty to serve 143 full-time and 145 part-time students.
In its early days, the campus provided students with two years of required courses before they transferred to the Pittsburgh campus to finish their degrees.
In the 1970s, Pitt-Bradford moved from downtown to the 78-acre parcel of land that had been the Harri Emery Airport and began offering its own two- and four-year degrees.
Today Pitt-Bradford is a 491-acre campus with 42 academic majors, 12 NCAA Division III sports, 436 employees, 1,100 students and more than 12,000 alumni. It continues to serve a rural area the size of the state of Connecticut and has been honored for its ability to help first-generation students and those with modest incomes.