Pittsburgh

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Posted by motoman 03/04/2009 @ 13:13

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Bucs stun South Siders with comeback - MLB.com
Pittsburgh worked quick to break a drought of 20 scoreless innings, as Hinske drove in the first of what would be four two-out runs for the Pirates with a first-inning double. The inning had been kept alive with two-out singles from Freddy Sanchez and...
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Stanley Cup Finals repeat repeal - Yahoo! Sports
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Pittsburgh assistant GM Chuck Fletcher was introduced as the new GM of the Minnesota Wild on Friday. A fine choice for a guy who has paid his dues and comes from one of hockey's great bloodlines (his father is Cliff Fletcher). But the move doesn't come...
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Gunman Kills Pregnant Pittsburgh Woman Weeks Away From Due Date - FOXNews
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Postseason NHL Schedule - The Associated Press
Montreal Thursday, April 16 Boston 4, Montreal 2 Saturday, April 18 Boston 5, Montreal 1 Monday, April 20 Boston 4, Montreal 2 Wednesday, April 22 Boston 4, Montreal 1, Boston wins series 4-0 ___ Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia Wednesday, April 15...
Ruutu returns to lineup for Game 3 - The Associated Press
RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu returned to the lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against Pittsburgh. The physical forward missed Game 2 because of a lower-body injury sustained in the series opener....

Pittsburgh

Skyline of City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh (pronounced /ˈpɪtsbɚg/ (originally pronounced /ˈpɪtsb(ə)rə/)) is the second largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania with a population of 312,819. The population of the seven-county metropolitan area is 2,462,571. The city's Downtown retains substantial economic influence, ranking at 25th in the nation for jobs within the urban core (and is sixth in job density).

The characteristic shape of downtown is a triangular tract carved by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, where the Ohio River forms. The skyline features 151 high-rise buildings, 446 bridges, two inclined railways, and a pre-revolutionary fortification. Pittsburgh is known colloquially as "The City of Bridges" and "The Steel City" for its many bridges and former steel manufacturing base.

While the city is historically known for its steel industry, today it is largely based on healthcare, education, technology, robotics, fashion, and financial services. The city has made great strides in redeveloping abandoned industrial sites with new housing, shopping and offices, such as the SouthSide Works. While Pittsburgh faced economic troubles in the mid 1970s as the steel industry waned, modern Pittsburgh is economically strong. The housing market is relatively stable despite a national subprime mortgage crisis, and Pittsburgh added jobs in 2008 even as the national economy entered a significant jobs recession. This positive economic news is in contrast to the late 1970s, when Pittsburgh lost its manufacturing base as those jobs moved offshore.

In 2007, Forbes magazine named Pittsburgh the 10th cleanest city, and in 2008 Forbes listed Pittsburgh as the 13th best city for young professionals to live. The city is consistently ranked high in livability surveys. In 2007, Pittsburgh was named "America's Most Livable City" by Places Rated Almanac.

Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes in honor of the British statesman, Sir William Pitt. Given that Forbes was a Scotsman, some speculate the intended pronunciation of the settlement was "Pittsbura", similar to the pronunciation of Edinburgh. It was incorporated as a borough in 1794 and chartered as a city in 1816.

Pittsburgh is one of the few American cities to be spelled with an h at the end of a burg suffix. This style is commonly used for many other cities and towns of Western Pennsylvania. While briefly referred to as "Pittsburg" during the late 19th century, the Pittsburgh spelling was officially restored in 1911 after a public campaign by the citizens of the city.

The area surrounding the headwaters of the Ohio was inhabited by the tribes of Allegawis, Adena, Hopewell, Delaware, Jacobi, Seneca, Shawnee, and several settled groups of Iroquois. The first European was the French discoverer/trader Sieur de La Salle in his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River from Lake Ontario and Quebec. This discovery was followed by European pioneers, primarily French, in the early 1700s and 1710s. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a manuscript in 1717, and later that year European traders established posts and settlements in the area. In 1749, French soldiers from Quebec launched a serious expedition to the forks in hopes of uniting French Canada with French Louisiana via the rivers. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent Major George Washington to warn the French to withdraw. During 1753–1754, the British hastily built Fort Prince George, but a larger French expedition forced them to evacuate and constructed Fort Duquesne on the site. With the French citing the 1669 discovery by LaSalle, these events led to the French and Indian War. British General Edward Braddock's campaign (with Washington as his aide) to take Fort Duquesne failed, but General John Forbes's subsequent campaign succeeded. After the French abandoned and destroyed Fort Duquesne in 1758, Forbes ordered the construction of Fort Pitt, named after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder. He also named the settlement between the rivers "Pittsborough".

During Pontiac's Rebellion, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes tribes besieged Fort Pitt for two months. The siege was ended after Colonel Bouquet defeated the native forces in the Battle of Bushy Run just to the east of the forks.

In the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the descendants of William Penn purchased from the Six Nations western lands that included most of the present site of Pittsburgh. In 1769, a survey was made of the land situated between the two rivers, called the "Manor of Pittsburgh". Both Virginia and Pennsylvania claimed the Pittsburgh area during colonial times and would continue to do so until 1780 when both states agreed to extend the Mason-Dixon Line westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Following the American Revolution, the village of Pittsburgh continued to grow. One of its earliest industries was building boats for settlers to enter the Ohio Country. In 1784, the laying out of the "Town of Pittsburgh" was completed by Thos. Viceroy of Bedford County and approved by the attorney of the Penns in Philadelphia. The year 1794 saw the short-lived Whiskey Rebellion. The Act of March 5, 1804, which modified the provision of the old charter of the Borough of Pittsburgh in 1794 (the original of which is not known to exist), refers throughout to the "Borough of Pittsburgh".

The War of 1812 cut off the supply of British goods, stimulating American manufacture. By 1815, Pittsburgh was producing significant quantities of iron, brass, tin and glass products. The Act of March 18, 1816 incorporated the City of Pittsburgh. The original charter was burned when the old Court House was destroyed by fire. In the 1830s, many Welsh people from the steelworks of Merthyr migrated to the city following the civil strife and aftermath of the Merthyr Riots of 1831. By the 1840s, Pittsburgh was one of the largest cities west of the Allegheny Mountains. A great fire burned over a thousand buildings in 1845, but the city rebuilt. By 1857, Pittsburgh's 1,000 factories were consuming 22,000,000 bushels of coal yearly.

The American Civil War boosted the city's economy with increased production of iron and armaments. Steel production began by 1875, when Andrew Carnegie founded the J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works in North Braddock, which eventually evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company. The success and growth of Carnegie Steel was attributed to Henry Bessemer, inventor of the Bessemer Process.

In 1901, the U.S. Steel Corporation was formed, and by 1911 Pittsburgh was producing between a third and a half of the nation's steel. The city's population swelled to half a million, many of whom were immigrants from Europe who arrived via the great migration through Ellis Island. During World War II, Pittsburgh produced 95 million tons of steel. By this time, the pollution from burning coal and steel production created a black fog (or smog), which even a century earlier had induced author writer James Parton to dub the city "hell with the lid off".

Following the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance." This much-acclaimed effort was followed by the "Renaissance II" project, begun in 1977 and focusing more on cultural and neighborhood development than its predecessor. The industrial base continued to expand through the 1960s, but beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, the steel industry in the region imploded, with massive layoffs and mill closures.

Beginning in the 1980s, the city shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services, largely based on healthcare, medicine, and high technology such as robotics. During this transition, however, the city's population shrank from 680,000 in 1950 to 330,000 in 2000.

On February 3, 2009, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl briefly renamed the city "Sixburgh" in honor of the Pittsburgh Steelers sixth Super Bowl championship.

Pittsburgh is located at 40°26′29″N 79°58′38″W / 40.44139°N 79.97722°W / 40.44139; -79.97722Coordinates: 40°26′29″N 79°58′38″W / 40.44139°N 79.97722°W / 40.44139; -79.97722 (40.441419, -79.977292). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 58.3 sq mi (151 km2), of which, 55.6 sq mi (144 km2) of it is land and 2.8 sq mi (7 km2) of it is water. The total area is 4.75% water.

The city is on the Allegheny Plateau, where the confluence of the Allegheny River from the northeast and Monongahela River from the southeast form the Ohio River. The Downtown area between the rivers is known as the Golden Triangle, and the site at the actual convergence, which is occupied by Point State Park, is referred to simply as "the Point." In addition to the downtown Golden Triangle, the city extends northeast to include the Oakland and Shadyside sections, which are home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Museum and Library, and many other educational, medical, and cultural institutions.

Pittsburgh occupies the slopes of the river valley on the opposite side of the Monongahela and the ridges beyond. Many of the city's neighborhoods, particularly the city's North Side and those areas south of the Bungalow, are steeply sloped. In fact, of all U.S. cities, only San Francisco and Seattle have more extreme terrain.

This topography is often utilized for physical activity. The city has some 712 sets of stairs, comprising 44,645 treads and 24,090 vertical feet (more than San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Portland, Oregon combined) for pedestrians to traverse its many hills. With the drop of pedestrian traffic across much of the city, and the fact that many of these stairs are outside nuclear neighborhoods, many have fallen into disrepair, covered with vines and weeds. There are hundreds of 'paper streets' composed entirely of stairs and many other steep streets with stairs for sidewalks. Many provide views of the Pittsburgh area.

The city has established bike and walking trails along its riverfronts and hollows, but steep hills and variable weather can make biking challenging. However, the city will be connected to downtown Washington, D.C. (some 245 mi (394 km) away) by a continuous bike/running trail through the Alleghenies and along the Potomac Valley. Known as the Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, the trail has been completed.

Pittsburgh has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) on the Koppen climate classification, because the average January temperature downtown just exceeds the 26.6°F (-3°C) isotherm to include it in this defintion. This climate zone is very broad and quite diverse, Pittsburgh features long, cold and snowy winters compared with say Orlando, which only occasionaly experiences even frost. Since Pittsburgh is at the northern extreme of the humid subtropical zone in the United States, its climate can be thought of as transitional between humid subtropical (Cfa) and humid continental (Dfa). The city's climate features abundant precipitation throughout the year and four defined seasons. While there are wide variations in seasonal temperature common to temperate climates, winters are somewhat moderated by both proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and low mountains that to some degree block the advance of cold air from the north. However, Pittsburgh's average winter temperatures are notably lower than that of Philadelphia. Overall, the city's climate features cold winters with snow, and warm, humid summers with frequent clouds and precipitation.

The warmest month of the year in Pittsburgh, as in most of the northern hemisphere, is July. The average high temperature is 83 °F (28 °C), with overnight low temperatures averaging 62 °F (17 °C). July is often humid, resulting in a considerable heat index. The coldest month of the year is January, when the average high temperature is 37 °F (3 °C). Overnight low temperatures average 20 °F (−7 °C). The moderating influence of Pittsburgh's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean is evident in the fact that Chicago, which is less than 110 mi (177 km) north of Pittsburgh (and about 400 miles (640 km) west), experiences average January temperatures 7°F (4°C) colder on average. The highest temperature ever recorded in Pittsburgh was 103 °F (39 °C), on July 16, 1988, and the coldest temperature ever recorded was −22 °F (−30 °C), on January 19, 1994.

Due to its position on the windward side of the Allegheny Mountains, Pittsburgh receives heavy precipitation, and many days are subject to overcast skies. Precipitation is greatest in May, due to frequent thunderstorms and more organized low pressure systems which track up the eastern coast of the United States. On average, 4.04 in (103 mm) of precipitation falls during this month. The driest month of the year is February, when most precipitation falls in the form of low moisture content snow. However, Pittsburgh's February precipitation, 2.47 in (63 mm), is relatively heavy compared to other cities located further inland, mainly because the city is east enough that it can be impacted by Nor'easters in some way, but usually lighter than in the central and eastern parts of the state.

The city can be broken down into the Downtown area, called the Golden Triangle, and four main areas surrounding it. These four surrounding areas are further subdivided into distinct neighborhoods (in total, Pittsburgh contains 90 neighborhoods.) These areas, relative to downtown, are known as the North Side, South Side/South Hills, East End, and West End.

Downtown Pittsburgh is tight and compact, featuring many skyscrapers, 9 of which top 500 ft (152 m). U.S. Steel Tower is the tallest at 841 ft (256 m). The Cultural District comprises a 14 block area of downtown along the Allegheny River. It is packed with theaters and arts venues, and is seeing a growing residential segment. Most significantly, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is embarking on Riverparc, a 4-block mixed-use "green" community, featuring 700 residential units and multiple towers between 20–30 stories. The Firstside portion of downtown borders the Monongahela River and the historic Mon Wharf. This area is home to the distinctive PPG Place Gothic glass skyscraper complex. This area too, is seeing a growing residential sector, as new condo towers are constructed and historic office towers are converted to residential use. Downtown is serviced by the Port Authority's light rail and multiple bridges leading north and south. It is also home to Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Culinary Institute, a Robert Morris University branch campus and Duquesne University which is located on the border of Downtown and Uptown.

The North Side is home to various neighborhoods in transition. What is known today as Pittsburgh's North Side was once known as Allegheny City and operated as a city independently of Pittsburgh. Allegheny City merged with Pittsburgh under great protest from its citizens. The North Side is primarily composed of residential neighborhoods and is noteworthy for well-constructed and architecturally interesting homes. Many buildings date from the 19th century and are constructed of brick or stone and adorned with decorative woodwork, ceramic tile, slate roofs and stained glass. The North Side is also home to many popular attractions such as Heinz Field, PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Andy Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory installation art museum, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Penn Brewery and Allegheny Observatory.

The South Side was once an area composed primarily of dense inexpensive housing for mill workers, but has in recent years become a local Pittsburgher destination. In fact, South Side is one of the most popular neighborhoods in which to own a home in Pittsburgh. The value of homes in the South Side has increased in value by about 10 percent annually for the past 10 years. The South Side's East Carson Street is one of the most vibrant areas of the city, packed with diverse shopping, ethnic eateries, pulsing nightlife and live music venues. In 1993 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh purchased the South Side Works steel mill property, and worked together with the community and various developers to create a master plan for a mixed-use development including a riverfront park, office space, housing, health-care facilities, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers indoor practice fields. Construction began in 1998, and the Southside Works is now open for business with many store, restaurants, offices, and the world headquarters for American Eagle Outfitters.

The East End is home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University, Chatham University, The Carnegie Institute's Museums of Art and Natural History, Frick Art & Historical Center (Clayton and the Frick art museum), Phipps Conservatory, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The neighborhoods of Shadyside and Squirrel Hill are large, wealthy neighborhoods featuring large shopping/business districts. Oakland, heavily populated by undergraduate and graduate students, is home to most of the universities, Schenley Park and the Petersen Events Center. Bloomfield is Pittsburgh's Little Italy and is known for its Italian restaurants and grocers. Lawrenceville is a revitalizing rowhouse neighborhood popular with artists and designers. The Strip District is a popular open-air marketplace by day and one of Pittsburgh's hottest clubbing destinations by night.

The West End includes Mt. Washington, with its famous view of the Downtown skyline and numerous other residential neighborhoods like Sheraden and Elliott.

Several neighborhoods on the edges of the city are less urban, featuring tree-lined streets, yards and garages giving a more characteristic suburban feel, while other aforementioned neighborhoods, such as Oakland, the South Side, the North Side, and the Golden Triangle are characterized by a more diverse, urban feel.

According to the 2000 census there were 334,563 individuals, 163,739 households, and 74,169 families within the city limits. The population of the surrounding metropolitan area was 2,658,695. The largest groups in terms of race were 67.63% White, 27.12% African American, 2.75% Asian, and 1.32% Hispanic (of any race). The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was $28,588, with 20.4% of the population living below the poverty line.

The five largest ethnic groups in the city of Pittsburgh are German (19.7%), Irish (15.8%), Italian (11.8%), Polish (8.4%), and English (4.6%), while the metropolitan area is approximately 22% German, and 16% Italian, and 12% Irish. Pittsburgh has one of the largest Italian communities in the nation, and also has the nation's fifth largest Ukrainian community, as well as some of the largest Croatian, Slovak, Slovenian, and Serbian communities.

As of 2002 Census data, Pittsburgh ranks 22nd of 69 urban places in the U.S. in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who have completed a Bachelor's degree, with 31% of such people having completed the degree. The same study ranks Pittsburgh 15th of the 69 places in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who have completed a high school degree, with a figure of 84.7%.

Despite the high poverty rate, Pittsburgh once had one of the lowest property crime rates and a lower-than-average violent crime rate among cities of similar size. However, recent crime statistics show violent crime has risen, although most of the rising crime statistics reflect crimes committed by known assailants.

As of 2003, statistics indicate that the Pittsburgh murder rate is 2.61 times the national average, which is considered high for a city of its size. Overall, the "violent crime" rate for the city is about twice the national average, while the "property" or non-violent crime rate is about 1.11 times the national average.

The growth of Pittsburgh and its economy was caused by the extensive trade in steel. Pittsburgh has since adapted to the collapse of the region's steel industry. The primary industries have shifted more to high technology, such as robotics, health care, nuclear engineering, tourism, biomedical technology, finance, and services. The region’s technology industries, when taken in aggregate, their total annual payroll exceeds $10.8 billion. Education is also a major employer, from primary through magnet schools, specialized professional institutes and highly-ranked universities. In fact, Pittsburgh still maintains its status as a corporate headquarters city, with seven Fortune 500 companies calling the city home. This ranks Pittsburgh in a tie for the eighth-most Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation. In 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion.

Pittsburgh has grown its industry base in recent years to include technology, retail, finance and medicine. The largest employer in the city is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (26,000 employees) and the University of Pittsburgh (10,700 employees).

Pittsburgh is also home to Bayer USA and the operations center of Alcoa. Other major employers include Bank of New York Mellon, GlaxoSmithKline and Lanxess. Pittsburgh is the Northeast U.S. regional headquarters for Nova Chemicals, FedEx Ground, Ariba, Rand, and National City. Guru.com, 84 Lumber, Giant Eagle, Highmark, Rue 21, and GENCO are major non-public companies with headquarters in the region. Other major companies headquartered in Pittsburgh include General Nutrition Center (GNC) and CNX Gas (CXG), a subsidiary of Consol Energy.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, wealthy businessmen and nonprofit organizations donated millions of dollars to create educational and cultural institutions. As a result, Pittsburgh is rich in art and culture.

Among the professional music venues, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs in Heinz Hall, and the Pittsburgh Opera performs in the Benedum Center. Both The Benedum Center and Heinz Hall provide venues for other groups, such as the River City Brass Band and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues and bluegrass music. Pittsburgh also has a large indie and punk rock scene. Additionally the National Negro Opera Company was founded in Pittsburgh, and was the first all African-American opera company in the United States. This led to the prominence of African-American singers like Leontyne Price in the world of opera.

Pittsburgh Dance Council and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater host a variety of dance events. Polka, folk, square and round dancing have a long history in the city and are celebrated by the internationally famous Duquesne University Tamburitzans, a multicultural academy dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folk songs and dance.

Pittsburgh museums include the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Frick Art & Historical Center and the Mattress Factory. Installation art is featured outdoors at ArtGardens of Pittsburgh. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has extensive dinosaur collections and an Ancient Egypt wing. The Carnegie Science Center is technology oriented. The Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum are located in the Strip District. The unusual and eclectic Bayernhof Music Museum is six miles (9 km) from downtown. There is a quarterly Gallery Crawl in the downtown area's cultural district that is free and open to the public to enjoy the local art scene as well as the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which takes place in the same downtown area annually during the summer.

In theater, the Pittsburgh Playhouse of Point Park University has four resident companies of professional actors. Other companies include Attack Theatre, Bricolage Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Quantum Theater. The city's longest-running theatre show, Friday Nite Improvs, is an improv jam that has been performed in the Cathedral of Learning and other locations for 17 years.

Pittsburgh's most famous native writer was Rachel Carson, a Chatham College (now Chatham University) graduate from the Pittsburgh suburb of Springdale, Pennsylvania. Modern writers include Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson and Michael Chabon with his Pittsburgh-focused commentary on student and college life. Two-time Pultizer Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, David McCullough was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Annie Dillard, a Pultizer Prize winning writer, was born and raised in Pittsburgh. New writers include Chris Kuzneski who attended the University of Pittsburgh and mentions Pittsburgh in his books. Pittsburgh's unique literary style extends to playwrights, as well as local graffiti and hip-hop artists.

There is a Pittsburgh fantasy, macabre and science fiction genre popularized by film director George Romero, television personality Bill Cardille's Chiller Theatre, film director and writer Rusty Cundieff and makeup effects guru Tom Savini. Today, the genre continues through the PARSEC writers organization and several local Writer's Workshops including Write or Die, The Pittsburgh SouthWrites, and the Pittsburgh Worldwrights founded by Mary Soon Lee and continued by protegees Barton Paul Levenson, Kenneth Chiacchia, Pete Butler, Chris Ferrier, Robert L. Nansel and the poet Elizabeth Penrose. Mark Menold showcases the classic Pittsburgh zombie tradition through cinematic and televised works on The It's Alive Show and by holding the annual "Zombie Fest".

The Pittsburgh English dialect, popularly referred to as "Pittsburghese", derives from influences from the Scottish-Irish, Welsh, German, Central European and Eastern European immigrants. Locals who speak in this dialect are sometimes referred to as "Yinzers" (from the local word for "you guys/people", yinz ). The dialect has some tonal similarities to other nearby regional dialects (ie, Erie, Baltimore), but is noted for its somewhat staccato rhythms. The staccato qualities of the Pittsburgh dialect have been suggested to originate either from Welsh or from Eastern European immigrants. It also has so many local peculiarities that the New York Times described Pittsburgh as, "the Galapagos Islands of American dialect". The lexicon itself contains notable cognates borrowing from Croatian and other Slavic and European languages. Examples include babushka, pierogi, and halušky.

Pittsburgh often places high in lists of the nation's most livable cities. After placing fourth and first in the first two editions of Places Rated Almanac, Pittsburgh went on to finish third in 1989, fifth in 1993, 14th in 1997 and 12th in 2000, before reclaiming the number one spot in 2007. The survey's primary author, David Savageau, has noted that Pittsburgh is the only city to finish in the top 20 of every edition.

In 2005, The Economist ranked Pittsburgh and Cleveland the top most livable cities in the United States, and tied the cities for 26th worldwide. Pittsburgh ranked #28 in the book Cities Ranked and Rated (2004) by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander.

Livability rankings typically consider factors such as cost of living, crime, and cultural opportunities. Pittsburgh has a low cost of living compared to other cities in the northeastern U.S. The average price for a 3- to 4-bedroom, 2-bath family home in Pittsburgh is $162,000, which is well below the national average of $264,540, as of October 2004, according to the Federal Housing Finance Board.

In 2007, the American Lung Association ranked the Pittsburgh area as the nation's second most polluted metropolitan area, behind Los Angeles. This ranking is disputed by the Allegheny County Health Department, since data from only one of Pittsburgh's 20 air quality monitors were used by the ALA. Furthermore, the monitor used is located downwind of U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works, the nation's largest coke plant.

Pittsburgh's dedication to sports has a long history. Pittsburgh is the only city where all major sports teams—the Steelers of the NFL, the Penguins of the NHL, and the Pirates of the MLB—all share the same team colors, black and gold. The Pittsburgh Passion of the IWFL use these colors as well. The black-and-gold color scheme has since become closely associated with the city: its official flag is a tricolor of black and gold, and its police department and fire department also make use of this color combination.

The Pittsburgh Pirates play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions. The Pirates are also often referred to as the Bucs or sometimes the Buccos (derived from buccaneer). The franchise has won five World Series with the last being won in 1979 against the Baltimore Orioles.

PNC Park is annually ranked as one of the best if not the best Major League parks.

Professional basketball has also played a role in the city's sports landscape since the 1960s. The Pittsburgh Pipers, Pittsburgh Condors, Pittsburgh Rens, Pittsburgh Hard Hats, Pittsburgh Piranhas, Pittsburgh Pit Bulls and the Pittsburgh Xplosion have all called the Steel City their home.

The Dukes of Duquesne University had much basketball success in the first half of the 20th century and again in the 60s and 70s.

The most successful basketball team in Pittsburgh is the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. The Pitt Panthers are currently ranked 3rd in the nation in the Associated Press and Coaches polls (1/26/09), and are a perennial top 15 NCAA team. The Panthers have made 7 straight NCAA tournament trips leading into this year. Pitt plays at the state of the art Peterson Events Center, and has a strong local and national following. The “Pete” has sold out every season since its opening.

Football is by far the most popular sport in the region, with high school games routinely getting over 10,000 fans per game as well as extensive press coverage. College football is also popular, with residents supporting the local Pittsburgh Panthers, as well as the teams of Penn State or West Virginia. The NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers have been owned by the Rooney family since the team's founding in 1933. The team won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s, a fifth championship in 2006 and a sixth championship in 2009.

The Pittsburgh region also has developed several NFL quarterbacks, giving Western Pennsylvania the nickname "Cradle of Quarterbacks." Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Jim Kelly, Marc Bulger, George Blanda, Jeff Hostetler, Johnny Unitas, Bruce Gradkowski, Gus Frerotte, and recent Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch are from the area. Several famous running backs, including Tony Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Kevan Barlow, Mercury Morris, Larry Brown, Ernie Davis, Cookie Gilchrist and Joe Marconi are also from Pittsburgh. Several former offensive line greats, including Jim Covert, Russ Grimm, Reggie Wells, and Bill Fralic also hail from the area. Several notable defensive players are from the Pittsburgh area, including Pro Hall of Famers Joe Schmidt and Randy White, defensive end Jason Taylor, cornerback Ty Law and linebacker LaVar Arrington. Several current NFL Players grew up in the Greater Pittsburgh, including Shawntae Spencer and Steve Breaston in addition to the aforementioned Ty Law, Jason Taylor and Charlie Batch. There is also a long list of baseball stars such as Ken Griffey, Jr., Ken Griffey, Sr., Stan Musial, and Honus Wagner, as well as numerous Olympic gold medalists such as wrestler Kurt Angle, Roger Kingdom and John Woodruff and was where Jim Furyk and Arnold Palmer learned to play golf. Pittsburgh also claims many professional sports coaching legends as its own including George Karl, Marvin Lewis, Mike Ditka, Marty Schottenheimer, Mike McCarthy, Bill Cowher, Dave Wannstedt, Joe Walton, Barry Alvarez, Chuck Knox, Terry Francona, Chuck Daly, Ken Macha, Dick Nolan, Sean Miller, Chuck Tanner and Art Howe.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won three Eastern Conference championships in 1991, 1992, and 2008, and Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. They are owned by Mario Lemieux, who was on the team from 1984–2006. They play their home games at Mellon Arena, the oldest arena in the NHL, but is being replaced by the Consol Energy Center, slated to open for the 2010–2011 NHL season. Notable NHL players from the Pittsburgh area include Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning and R.J. Umberger of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Pittsburgh has been home to the Pittsburgh Marathon, which will resume in May 2009, and still hosts the Great Race 5 & 10K run and walk.

Pittsburgh has multiple mountain biking areas close to the city in area parks and in the surrounding suburbs. Frick Park has biking trails and Hartwood Acres Park has many miles of single track trails. A recent project, "Rails to Trails", has converted miles of former railroads to recreational trails.

There are two major daily newspapers in Pittsburgh; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Alternative weekly papers in the region include the Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Catholic, The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, The New People, and the Pittsburgh Courier. Independent student-written university based newspapers include The Pitt News of the University of Pittsburgh, The Tartan of Carnegie Mellon University, and The Globe of Point Park University.

The Pittsburgh metro area is served by many local television and radio stations. The Pittsburgh designated market area (DMA) is the 22nd largest in the U.S. with 1,163,150 homes (1.045% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KDKA-TV 2 (CBS), WTAE 4 (ABC), WPXI 11 (NBC), WPGH-TV 53 (FOX), WPCW 19 (CW), WQEX 16 (ShopNBC), WPMY 22 (MyNetworkTV), and WPCB 40 (Cornerstone). WBGN 59 is an independent station owned and operated by the Bruno-Goodworth Network.

WQED 13 is the local PBS station in Pittsburgh. It was established on April 1, 1954, and was the first community-sponsored television station and the fifth public station in the United States. The station has produced much original content for PBS, including Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, several National Geographic specials, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

According to the Pittsburgh Film Office, over 123 major motion pictures have been filmed, in whole or in part, in Pittsburgh, including the The Mothman Prophecies, Wonder Boys, Dogma, Hoffa, The Silence of the Lambs, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

Showtime Networks, a premium cable and satellite tv content provider, made Pittsburgh the setting of the hugely popular and groundbreaking series Queer as Folk. The series now runs edited versions on the Logo Network. While Queer as Folk was filmed in nearby Toronto, Ontario, Canada; the setting in Pittsburgh has given the city noticed publicity in the gay community.

From the American Civil War to the 1930s, Pittsburgh was a Republican stronghold. Democratic candidates have been elected consecutively to either the mayor's office or city council since 1933, when David L. Lawrence was able to lead the party to power due to the alleged corruption and fraction of the Pittsburgh Republican Party and the election of President Roosevelt whose New Deal began the recovery from the Great Depression, by which the workers of Pittsburgh were especially hard hit. Today, the ratio of Democratic to Republican registrations within the city limits is 5 to 1.

The mayor, like the nine-member council, serves a four-year term. The seat of government is the Pittsburgh City-County Building. After the death of Mayor Bob O'Connor in September 2006, City Council President Luke Ravenstahl was sworn as the new mayor of Pittsburgh. Sworn in at age 26, he is the youngest mayor in the history of any major American city. He served in this position until a special mayoral election was held in November 2007, when he was reelected. City council members are chosen by plurality elections in each of nine districts. The current members of the city council are: Darlene Harris (1), Daniel Deasy (2), Bruce Kraus (3), Jim Motznik (4), Douglas Shields (5), Tonya Payne (6), Patrick Dowd (7), Bill Peduto (8), and Rev. Ricky Burgess (9).

Pittsburgh is represented in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by three Senate Districts and nine House Districts. Pittsburgh's State Senators include Jim Ferlo (38th District), Wayne D. Fontana (42), and Jay Costa (43). Representatives in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives include Jake Wheatley (19th District), Don Walko (20), Lisa Bennington (21), Chelsa Wagner (22), Dan Frankel (23), Joseph Preston, Jr. (24), Thomas C. Petrone (27), Paul Costa (34), and Harry Readshaw (36). In the United States House of Representatives, Pittsburgh is included in one Congressional District, the 14th District, and is represented by Mike Doyle (D).

The Pittsburgh Police Bureau is the law enforcement arm of the city and the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau is a major emergency response unit in Western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh EMS provides heavy rescue and river rescue services to the city.

As of April 4, 2008, the city and Allegheny County, are discussing a plan to merge as early as 2009 in the interests of consolidating government and enhancing the status of the region. If approved, the city of Pittsburgh will annex the entire land of Allegheny County in a Metropolitan Government, and the population will stand at 1.4 million making it the 7th largest city in the United States.

The City of Pittsburgh is home to many colleges, universities and research facilities, the most well known of which are Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Also located in the city are Carlow University, Chatham University, Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a branch campus of suburban Robert Morris University as well as the Community College of Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. The greater Pittsburgh region boasts even more colleges and universities, including LaRoche College, Slippery Rock University and Grove City College north of the city, Robert Morris University and Geneva College west of the city, Washington & Jefferson College and California University of Pennsylvania to the south, and Seton Hill University, Saint Vincent College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania – the biggest state university to the east.

The campuses of Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh are located adjacent to each other in the Oakland neighborhood that is the traditional cultural and education center of the city. Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university founded by Andrew Carnegie and is ranked #22 overall on US News & World Report list of America's Best National Universities. Carnegie Mellon is known primarily for its computer science, engineering, business, public policy, and fine arts programs. The University of Pittsburgh, established in 1787 and popularly referred to as "Pitt", is a state-related school with one of the country's largest research programs. Pitt is ranked as the 19th national public university by US News & World Report and 57th overall, and is known for its programs in philosophy, international studies, information science, engineering, business, law, medicine, and other biomedical and health-related sciences. Carlow University is a small private Roman Catholic university that while coeducational, has traditionally educated women. Chatham University, a liberal arts women's college with coeducational graduate programs, is located in the nearby Shadyside neighborhood, but also maintains a 400-acre Eden Hall Farm campus located in the North Hills. Duquesne University, a private Catholic university, is located in the Bluff neighborhood of Pittsburgh and is noted for its song and dance company, the Tamburitzans, as well as programs in law, business, and pharmacy. Point Park University, which recently announced a major expansion of its downtown campus, is the youngest university in the city and well known for its Conservatory of Performing Arts and its operation of the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Robert Morris University is based in the suburb of Moon Township, Pennsylvania and maintains a satellite center in downtown Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Public School teachers are paid well relative to their peers, ranking 17th in 2000 among the 100 largest cities by population for the highest minimum salary offered to teachers with a BA ($34,300). Pittsburgh ranked fifth in the highest maximum salary offered to teachers with an MA ($66,380). Local public schools include many charter and magnet schools, including City Charter High School (computer and technology focused), Pittsburgh Montessori School (formerly Homewood Montessori), Pittsburgh Gifted Center, Frick International Studies Academy, Rogers Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and several schools for blind, deaf, or otherwise challenged children.

Private schools in Pittsburgh include Bishop Canevin High School, Seton-La Salle Catholic High School, Central Catholic High School, Oakland Catholic High School, Winchester Thurston School, and The Ellis School. Shady Side Academy, whose main campuses are located in Fox Chapel, has a junior high school in the neighborhood of Point Breeze.

The city also has an extensive library system, both public and university. Most notable are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh's University Library System, which rank 9th largest (public) and 18th largest (academic) in the nation, respectively.

Pittsburgh is a city of bridges—446 in total. Pittsburgh has more bridges than Venice, Italy, which has historically held the title of "City of Bridges". Around 40 bridges cross the three rivers near the city. The southern "entrance" to Downtown is through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and over the Fort Pitt Bridge. The Panhandle Bridge carries the Port Authority's 42-S/47-L/52 subway lines across the Monongahela River. Over 2,000 bridges dot the landscape of Allegheny County.

The main highway connecting Pittsburgh to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) on the east is I-376, locally known as the "Parkway East", while I-279 (called either the "Parkway North" or the "Parkway West", depending on its location relative to Downtown) connects the city with points north and west. I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike), I-79, and I-70, roughly form a triangular-shaped "beltway". Navigation around Pittsburgh can also be accomplished via the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System.

A planned highway system called the Mon-Fayette/Southern Beltway project would allow access from the south and southwest of the city via a limited-access tolled expressway system. The projects are in the planning stages with some sections already open to traffic. The projects are being planned by The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

The city is served by Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT) about 10 miles (16 km) to the west in Findlay Township. The airport also promotes the region as a focus city for US Airways and has been a major operation for the airline since the company's inception in the 1940s with the city being chosen by the airline to house its entire dispatch center, relocating it from its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. Art deco style Allegheny County Airport (AGC) handles 139,000 general aviation flights a year, and is located south-southeast of the city in West Mifflin. There are a few smaller airports located near the city as well. Rock Airport is a small airport located northeast of Pittsburgh in Tarentum, and is used primarily for corporate jets and private aircraft. Pittsburgh-Monroeville Airport is another airfield located east of the city in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Port Authority of Allegheny County, commonly known as the Port Authority, but sometimes referred to by its former nickname "PAT" or "PAT Transit", is the region's mass transit system. While serving only a portion of the Pittsburgh area's 20th largest metro area it is the 11th largest transit agency in the nation. Port Authority runs a network of inter- and intracity bus routes, the Monongahela Incline funicular railway (more commonly known as "inclines") on Mount Washington, a light rail system that runs mostly above-ground in the suburbs and underground as a subway in the city, and one of the nation's largest busway systems. The Duquesne Incline is operated by a non-profit preservation trust, but it does accept Port Authority passes and charge standard Port Authority tolls.

The city has Amtrak intercity rail service at Pennsylvania Station, as well as various freight railroads. Current railroads include Norfolk Southern, CSX and Amtrak.

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Pittsburgh International Airport

Pittsburgh's Landside Terminal

Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT, ICAO: KPIT, FAA LID: PIT), formerly Greater Pittsburgh Airport, Greater Pittsburgh International Airport and commonly referred to as Pittsburgh International, is a joint civil-military international airport located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Findlay Township, approximately 20 miles (30 km) west of downtown Pittsburgh at Exit 6 of PA-60 (Future I-376) and the Northern Terminus of PA Turnpike 576 (Future I-576). It is owned and operated by the Allegheny County Airport Authority which also operates the Allegheny County Airport. PIT is primarily a passenger airport serving the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, providing 186 non-stop flights per day to 49 destinations via 28 airlines. It also serves as the home of Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, a combined facility of the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard, providing aerial refueling, air mobility and tactical airlift support to the U.S. Air Force and other U.S. Department of Defense activities. Finally, the airport also has a robust air cargo facility and supports extensive general aviation operations.

Pittsburgh International is the second busiest passenger airport in Pennsylvania and 45th busiest in the United States, serving 9,822,588 passengers in 2007 on 209,303 aircraft operations. Until 2004, US Airways operated its largest hub at Pittsburgh International. As of 2007, the airline remains PIT's largest carrier (handling 39 percent of passengers). Southwest Airlines began service at the airport in May 2005 and is now the second largest airline in Pittsburgh with nonstop service to 7 destinations and more than 20 daily flights. The airport offers service to the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Mainline passenger aircraft that regularly visit the airport include the Boeing 717, Boeing 737, and Boeing 757, along with the Airbus A319, Airbus A320, and Airbus A321, as well as the Douglas DC-9 and MD80. Widebody passenger aircraft have not served the airport regularly since US Airways ended its transatlantic Boeing 767 and Airbus A330 service to Frankfurt, London, and Paris, and no Boeing 747's since British Airways ended service in the late 90's. Non-stop transatlantic service to Europe is scheduled to begin again on June 3, 2009 when Delta Air Lines begins flights to Paris' Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

Pittsburgh International Airport occupies more than 12,900 acres (45 km²), making it the fourth largest airport in the nation, behind Denver International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Orlando International Airport. It is so large that both Chicago's O'Hare and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson could comfortably fit within the airport's land area.

PIT has been frequently recognized for its quality in meeting travelers' needs. The OAG Worldwide listed the facility to its short list of the world's best airports for four consecutive years. The market research leader, JD Power and Associates named PIT among the top five airports in its two most recent customer satisfaction surveys. Conde Nast Traveler's Magazine named PIT among the best in the United States and in the world in its People's Choice Award.

Until the beginning of World War II, Moon Township, PA was mostly a rural agricultural area. It was too far from downtown Pittsburgh to be considered the "suburb" that it is today, although it was served solely by Pittsburgh media and state/federal services. In the early 1920s, John A. Bell of Carnegie purchased a number of small farms in Moon and established a major commercial dairy farm on his 1,900 acres (7.7 km2) of land. He was bought out by Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Reick and C.F. Nettrour, owners of the established "Reick's" Dairy, who doubled the number of cattle at the farm.

By 1940, the United States was becoming involved in World War II. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) identified that the Pittsburgh area needed a military airport to defend the industrial wealth of the area, and provide a training base and stop-over facility. The agricultural expanses of Moon Township were attractive to the early airport planners in the city. The WPA bought the Bell Farm and began construction of the runways.

In 1944, Allegheny County officials proposed to expand the military airport with the addition of a commercial passenger terminal in order to relieve the Allegheny County Airport, which was built in 1926 and whose capacity was quickly becoming insufficient to support the growing demand for air travel. Ground was broken on the new airport on July 18, 1946. The new terminal building would eventually cost $33 million to build and was built exclusively by Pittsburgh-area companies. The new airport, christened as Greater Pittsburgh Airport (renamed Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in 1972 upon the opening of the International Arrivals Building) opened on May 31, 1952. The first flight occurred on June 3, 1952. In its full year of operation in 1953, over 1.4 million passengers used the terminal. At that time, "Greater Pitt" was considered "modern" and spacious. In fact, the airport was the largest in the United States, second only to Idlewild Airport (now JFK Airport) in New York when it was completed 5 years later.

The first five airlines of the Greater Pittsburgh Airport were TWA, Capital Airlines (later part of United), Northwest, All American (later Allegheny Airlines, then USAir, and finally US Airways), and Eastern Airlines.

In 1959, the east dock was added to the terminal as air travel became more popular. On July 25, 1959, TWA introduced the first scheduled commercial jet service (Boeing 707) to Pittsburgh. With the longer range of jet engines, international air travel was more practical. By 1969, the airport sought to become an "international" airport. Ground was broken for the new International Wing, west of the original terminal building, on July 8, 1970. The International Wing opened in 1972 to accommodate federal inspection services and other requirements for international travel.

In 1972, rotundas were added to the end of each dock to further expand the number of gates at the terminal. In the later 1970s, significant growth in regional air travel created a need for additional gates at the terminal. In 1980, the South East Dock was opened. Even with all the expansions, the terminal could not meet the needs of modern air travel, and in 1987, with the financial backing of USAir (the most dominant carrier in Pittsburgh at the time), ground was broken on construction of a brand new terminal.

On October 1, 1992, the new Midfield Terminal opened and all operations transferred over from the old terminal overnight. (The old terminal remained standing for some years after, continuing to house a few operations offices; it was demolished in 1999.) The new terminal was equipped with numerous innovative, state-of-the-art features at the time, including an "AirMall" that featured shops for passengers to browse in, and "landside-airside" terminal construction which eliminated the need for connecting passengers to go through security again. The airport's capacity is one of its most valuable assets. A model to other airports around the world, the design of the terminal was planned to simplify aircraft movement on the airfield and ease pedestrian traffic to the gates.

The airport became stagnant through the 1990s, with USAir (later US Airways) concentrating on expanding at Philadelphia and Charlotte. The downturn in the economy at the start of the 21st century and the September 11th attacks, and high operating costs at the airport, put the US Airways hub in Pittsburgh at a disadvantage. The airline announced in 2004 that it would be substantially reducing its operations at Pittsburgh by shifting its primary hub to Philadelphia. By 2005, the airline had only about 170 flights per day to and from Pittsburgh, most of them domestic, compared with 542 before the reduction, including many international flights to London, Paris, and Frankfurt.

In October 2007, US Airways announced that it had selected Pittsburgh as the site of its new 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) flight operations center, which will be the nerve center of the airline's 1,400 daily mainline flights.. This center opened November 12, 2008, and is home to approximately 600 employees, a third of the region's total US Airways work base.

The airport has seen greatly reduced traffic due to US Airways' cutbacks. The airport's operator, the Allegheny County Airport Authority, has attempted to attract new service to the airport--low-cost and international carriers in particular--in hopes of bringing more passengers, with some success. AirTran Airways, which initially had trouble competing in Pittsburgh after beginning service in 2000, was finally able to successfully expand Pittsburgh offerings after the US Airways' cuts. In 2003, USA3000 Airlines began service to Florida and has recently expanded to include international destinations in the Caribbean. Southwest Airlines began service to Pittsburgh in May 2005, and the company broke US Airways's monopolies on Tampa, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia and brought more competition to the Chicago and Orlando markets. JetBlue Airways began service on June 30, 2006. JetBlue broke US Airways' monopoly on Boston and brought more competition to the New York market. Myrtle Beach Direct Air also began service in March 2007 and broke US Airways's monopoly on Myrtle Beach.

Pittsburgh International opened a new Military Comfort Center located at Gate A4 to serve traveling military and their families. The center began service on November 18, 2008.

In 2003, US Airways approached Pittsburgh over the concern of operating fees. Since US Airways was the largest carrier at the airport, and the head of the airport's operation, they requested lower operated fees. PIT refused, and US Airways threatened to move all major operations to Philadelphia and Charlotte, which they did. US cut many flights including all flights to Europe (London, Frankfurt, and Paris) and many flights in North America. Its hub status was dropped in 2004.

In January 2008, US Airways' steady decline from a prominent hub, to a secondary hub, to a focus city, saw its days numbered, but the nail in the coffin arrived with the imposition of only 68 daily flights. On this day, it was a focus city no more and was christened a US Airways' destination. CEO Doug Parker stated "unfortunately our ability to operate profitably from Pittsburgh has been sharply eroded over the past few years and the hub lost more than $40 million over the past 12 months alone." Today US Airways operates only 10 gates on the B concourse. Concourses A & B, where the airline once controlled all 50 gates, have each been truncated (walled-off) with a total of 26 gates being closed. The gates were closed as part of a cost cutting strategy to offset US Airways' decline. Also, the airport occasionally runs only one of the two underground people movers between the Landside and Airside Terminals during low travel times as a way to save money by reducing electricity usage.

US Airways announced more flight cuts that took effect in early January 2009 as part of a reduction in capacity due to higher fuel costs. All Florida markets (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa) as well as Indianapolis have been eliminated from its Pittsburgh schedule. This move has left the airline with only 56 daily departures to only 13 destinations. In March 2009, the airline's three daily flights to Newark will also be eliminated.

Airport officials are now constructing a new baggage sorting facility on the grounds where the northern most arm of the old E gates was located. The arm was demolished early in 2007 to make room for the new Northern Matrix Baggage Sorting Facility. The new facility will be used by US Airways and Southwest Airlines. By adding the new facility, the current screening machines on the ticketing level near US Airways' ticket counter will not be needed. Everything will be screened "in- line" similar to the southern end of the ticketing level served by all the other airlines. Southwest Airlines will be moved from their current location to a new ticket counter beside US Airways. This will give them the extra room they would need to expand services in the future.

Dick's Sporting Goods announced that they will be relocating their headquarters to Findlay Township on airport grounds. They have outgrown their current facility located just a few miles southeast of the airport near Robinson Town Centre. The new complex will have a hangar and taxiway access for private aircraft.

A new cargo facility is being proposed with help from the state. The first phase of the multi- million dollar project would include 900,000 square feet (84,000 m2) of warehouse distribution and air cargo space. This could help talks between PIT and Xi'an Xianyang International Airport in China.

On November 6, 2008 Delta Air Lines announced that it will begin nonstop service from Pittsburgh to Paris-Charles de Gaulle International Airport on June 3, 2009. The outbound flight will operate five times a week, daily except for Tuesdays and Fridays, while the return flight will operate daily except Wednesdays and Saturdays. Delta will fly its Boeing 757-200 on the route with 16 BusinessElite seats and 158 economy seats. The new service was made possible by Delta's successful joint-venture with Air France. .

On February 19, 2009, American Airlines announced that it will be reinstating mainline service between Pittsburgh and the airline's hub at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport on June 12, 2009 using its MD-80 jets. According to American Airlines, “The Pittsburgh—Dallas/Fort Worth market has proven to be a strong performer for American Airlines". The airport has not served mainline American Airlines scheduled flights since October 19, 2005 when regional affiliate American Eagle had taken over all service.

The landside terminal is the building closest to the parking areas and the entry point for passengers whose flights originate from Pittsburgh. It includes ticketing, 12 baggage claim areas (6 belong to US Airways, although they currently utilize 2), security checkpoints, and ground transportation such as taxi, limo, and rapid transit. There is a Hyatt Regency Hotel attached to the enclosed moving walkway. There are also shops in the landside terminal including Au Bon Pain, Travelmart, Sue Venir, City of Bridges Cafe, and a baggage claim Travelmart. There are Travelers Aid desks on the transit and baggage claim levels as well as Airport Police Headquarters.

After passing through the security checkpoint, passengers board one of two underground people movers that travel to the airside terminal, where all departure gates are located. It was built and operated by Bombardier Transportation and is completely controlled by computer (there is no driver onboard).

Note - there is an oversized belt near claim F (Carousel 6) for any oversized baggage.

The airside terminal consists of 4 concourses (A, B, C, D) that hold the departure gates. In the center core is the majority of the AirMall shops (there are over 100 shops including GAP, Swarovski, Brighton Collectibles, Brooks Brothers, Body Shop, Godiva, Victoria's Secret, Sam Adams Brewery, Lids, Ben & Jerry's, PGA Tour Shop, GNC, Brookstone, Charley's Steakhouse and Rite Aid). On the mezzanine level are the US Airways Club and a chapel. There are also Carnegie Science Center and Pittsburgh Aviation History Displays located throughout the airport.

US Airways has their US Airways Club on the mezzanine level of the airside terminal. It is accessible by escalators in the center core area. Before a post 9/11 restructure of routes (dehubbing PIT), US Airways had three clubs. The other two clubs were located down the A and B concourses. British Airways also had a lounge area in the C concourse during their transatlantic flight operations from Pittsburgh (1980s to late 1990s). Their lounge room is still there intact but now closed off.

Pittsburgh International offers on site parking operated by the Grant Oliver Corporation and patrolled by the Allegheny County Police. Grant Oliver offers usage of a GO FAST Pass account to pay for parking electronically at the airport. Go Fast Pass customers may register their E-Zpass transponders to use with the system, although billing and other aspects of the system are entirely handled by Grant Oliver. There are regular parking shuttles to the Long Term and Extended lots that can be accessed from the Baggage Claim level of the Landside Terminal outside doors six and eight.

There are three options for parking: Short Term, Long Term, and Extended. The Short Term garage is attached to the Landside Terminal via the enclosed moving walkway. There are 2,100 spaces available. The Long Term section also quick access to the enclosed moving walkway. There are 3,100 spaces available here. The Extended section does not have access to the enclosed moving walkway but does have regular parking shuttles that can be accessed from the Baggage Claim level of the Landside Terminal outside doors six and eight. There are 8,000 spaces available in the Extended lot.

Note: Only gates A1-A10, A12, & A14 are currently available for use, as the end of the concourse is closed-off.

Note: Only gates B26-B37 are currently available for use, as the end of the concourse is closed-off.

All international arrivals, except for cities with U.S. border preclearance, pass through Concourse C as customs and immigration is located on the lower level of the concourse. There is a separate area at the end of Concourse C where international flights arrive. Currently, USA3000 is the only scheduled airline that serves destinations without preclearance; Delta will be the second airline when it begins its nonstop flights to Paris in June 2009.

Gates C55, C57 & C59-C61 are designated to accommodate international traffic. Gate C61 includes a dual jetway to accommodate widebody aircraft, which was originally designed for US Airways' Airbus A330 and British Airways' Boeing 747.

Note: Delta Air Lines' international arrivals will be processed in Concourse C.

Concourse E was a passenger terminal area connected to the airport's landside building and was formerly used for quick access to US Airways Express commuter aircraft. Following cuts in service by US Airways, all Concourse E gates have been closed to air traffic. A portion of the concourse has been demolished to make way for a new baggage sorting facility for US Airways and Southwest Airlines, while the remaining portion of the concourse is used as an alternative security checkpoint. This additional checkpoint helps alleviate long lines at the airport's main airside checkpoint during peak travel times.

Pittsburgh International is located at Exit 6 of Pennsylvania Route 60 (future I-376) and the Northern Terminus Pennsylvania Route 576 (future I-576), and within 10 miles (20 km) of I-79 and 15 miles (24 km) of I-76 the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I-70 to the south and I-80 to the north are both less than an hour away.

Bus service is also available from Downtown Pittsburgh and the city's University District (Oakland) via Port Authority's 28X Route as well as from the suburban BCTA Transit to locations north and westbound.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato hopes to eventually extend the Pittsburgh Light Rail system to the airport one day; however, no formal plans have been made for an extension, and it is currently merely a proposal.

Free Wi-Fi throughout a passenger terminal was introduced to world air travelers first at Pittsburgh International, a service that has been copied by several airports and airline terminals throughout the world since. Hand in hand with its technology prowess Pittsburgh also became the first airport in the world to offer fare alert emails. The airport innovated proactive emails on airfare discounts by carrier and destination weekly, proving very successful it was recognized by the Airports Council International for Excellence in Marketing and Communications in 2007 as first place in North America. Using another blessing of Wi-Fi technology, Pittsburgh International Airport also helped to innovate electronic parking at airports nationwide with its GoFastPass system - a system similar to E-ZPass.

The AirMall at the airport also provided several world's firsts in both featuring fair "street prices" to wary air travelers and being the first major and diverse shopping center located within an airport terminal when it opened in 1992 with over 100 name brand retailers. Along with this concept Pittsburgh became the first airport to have two Xpress Spas in its retail area.

Upon opening, many local shoppers used to be able to shop inside the AirMall freely. However, this changed after 9/11, and due to security concerns, anyone who was allowed past security without being an employee at the AirMall or the airport itself must purchase an airline ticket. Business dropped considerably due to the tighter regulations, though business has since regained pre-9/11 levels.

Among the stores currently at the AirMall include several specialty shops, CNBC Business stores, a Rite Aid (a former Eckerd, itself originally a Thrift Drug), two McDonald's locations, T.G.I. Friday's, Charley's Steakery, Lids, Victoria's Secret, O'Briens Grille & Pub, Upper Crust, Godiva Chocolates, Brookstone, Taxco Sterling Silver, Crocs Store.

Pittsburgh was one of the first airports to deploy dozens of portable defibrillators, and developed the first volunteer ambassador program.. As of 2007 PIT became one of the first airport pilot programs (post 9/11) to allow guests at the airport hotel to have terminal access to the Airmall. Guests at the Hyatt Regency wishing to use this service must request a pass at the front desk and they will contact the proper authority to get them a security pass. Those wishing to do so still have to go through the security checkpoint. Pittsburgh International has also shown excellence among carrier networks. Southwest Airlines had named its Pittsburgh base as the best in its system for 2006, in its first full year of service at PIT. Among the factors in the award is on-time performance and efficient baggage service, two areas where the airport in general excels.

Pittsburgh International's airfield features a wide, open layout and four runways, including three east-west parallel runways and a fourth crosswind runway. This allows for the efficient flow of air traffic in nearly any wind condition. The airport's two longest runways are 11,500 and 10,500 feet (3,200 m) in length, allowing PIT to accommodate even the largest of commercial aircraft. However, due to the development of non-aviation related business on airport land, PIT can add only one additional runway (this number was as high as four in the past).

With the availability of three parallel runways, simultaneous landings or departures can be performed in nearly any situation. Runways 10R and 10L are equipped with Category III ILS (Instrument Landing System). 28R, 28L, and 32 have Category I ILS and 10C/ 28C has LOC/ GS.

Pittsburgh International, as a primarily commercial complex, may not strike the average flyer as a site rich in military aviation tradition. Founded as a military base for the U.S. Army Air Forces to answer the region's defense needs during World War II, the complex continues its Air Force legacy in support of today's U.S. Air Force and the Air Mobility Command (AMC) in reduced, but still visible ways as home to Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station. The airport hosts an average of 20 military flight operations per day in its role as host to the region's defense center.

Pittsburgh's military heritage is also rekindled each summer as the complex hosts one of the largest air shows on the east coast, "Wings over Pittsburgh". Roughly 200,000 spectators attended the two-day show in 2005. The military end of the airport complex has also been mentioned as the best relocation site for the region's Base Exchange (BX) operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). The 2008 scheduled closing of the nearby Charles E. Kelley Support Facility and its Post Exchange (PX) has brought PIT the opportunity to host the new BX facility on its military side.

The 911th Airlift Wing (911 AW) on the airport's southeastern side is an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), operating the C-130H Hercules tactical airlift aircraft. The 911 AW is composed of approximately 1,220 Air Force Reserve personnel. The wing employs approximately 320 civilians, including more than 180 Air Reserve Technicians (ART) holding dual civilian and military positions, as well as full-time active duty Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) personnel.

The 171st Air Refueling Wing (171 ARW) of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard on the airport's southwestern side is also an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained organization and operates sixteen KC-135T Stratotanker air refueling aircraft, providing air refueling and air mobility/strategic airlift services world-wide. The 171 ARW is one of three flying wings in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and is comprised of over 400 full time staff consisting of Active Guard and Reserve (AGR), dual civilian-military status Air Reserve Technicians (ART) and other USAF civilians, as well as over 1,000 "traditional" part-time Air National Guard personnel.

Although the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard maintain a great presence on that corner of the complex, the shuttering of some of the Air Force facilities in recent decades has led to the growth of a new tenant for that equipment at Pittsburgh. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken over much of the excess cold-war era infrastructure that the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard no longer needs, making Pittsburgh recently an important regional center for the agency.

The new Business Aviation Center (FBO Avcenter), located at the site of the former airport terminal building, is a modern and full service facility for management of corporate air travel and general aviation. This area is accessible by using Business 60 (Future Business I-376) near Moon Township.

The airport's three cargo carriers account for over 100 million pounds (45 million kg) of freight per year. Three cargo buildings provide more than 183,000 sq ft (17,000 m²) of warehouse capacity and over 450,000 sq ft (42,000 m²) of apron space.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority Fire Bureau operates a next-generation, state of the art Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) Training Center.

As an FAA regional training facility it comes equipped with a Boeing 757 mock-up offering realistic and challenging training. The simulated tail engine offers ARFF personnel critical high engine training scenarios. Adjacent to the first-training simulator is a four-story tower that houses the Computer Center ensuring consistent repeatable evolutions for each trainee and allows training to be conducted with the utmost safety of participants in mind. Being well within the airport boundary and designed to be in an area that minimizes distractions, the classrooms, management center, vehicle bay, trainee/equipment support areas and visitors center are located directly adjacent to the training grounds. This layout maximizes training time for students. The use of propane and control of water run-off combine to reduce environmental impact while providing quality occupational education for fire fighters, emergency responders and industrial personnel.

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University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh Seal

The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Chartered in 1787, Pitt is highly regarded in academic fields ranging from philosophy to medicine, and is well known for the development of the first Polio vaccine as well as its landmark centerpiece building, the Cathedral of Learning.

Founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on what was then the American frontier, Pitt is one of the oldest continuously chartered institutions of higher education in the United States. Pitt evolved into the Western University of Pennsylvania with an alteration to its charter in 1819, and upon relocating to its current campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh in 1908, the school received its current moniker, the University of Pittsburgh. For most of its history, Pitt was a private institution until it became part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education in 1966.

Pitt's rise from its humble frontier beginnings to its current stature is due in part to its ability to withstand early pressures to abandon its commitment to liberal education. Along the way Pitt has achieved strong reputations in a variety of academic disciplines including philosophy, physics, astronomy, history of science, English literature, creative writing, chemistry, business, biological sciences, jazz, engineering, education, international studies, and a variety of medical and health sciences. In 2006 Pitt was placed in the top cluster of 7 leading U.S. public research universities and among the clusters comprising the overall top 26 research universities, was ranked in U.S. News & World Report's top 20 public universities, and has also been recognized as one of the top universities in the world by multiple studies. Pitt regularly produces internationally recognized scholarship and fellowship award winners.

One of 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities, Pitt is among the top universities in total research expenditures and is a top 10 school in National Institute of Health research allocations, bringing in over $430 million a year for biomedical and health science research alone. Pitt and its medical school are also closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a leading academic medical center and the most active neurosurgical and organ transplant center in the United States. These resources have propelled Pitt to a leadership role in, among other fields, stem cell science, bioterrorism defense, and tissue engineering.

Pitt is popularly recognized for its National Landmark centerpiece building, the Cathedral of Learning at 535 feet (163 m), the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere; for its central role in developing the first polio vaccine; and for fielding nationally competitive NCAA Division 1 athletic programs.

Founded by Hugh Henry Brackenridge as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh is among a select group of universities and colleges established in the 18th century in the United States. It is the oldest continuously chartered institution of learning in the U.S., west of the Allegheny Mountains. The school began its life as a preparatory school, presumably in a log cabin, as early as 1770 in Western Pennsylvania, then a frontier. Hugh Henry Brackenridge sought and obtained a charter for the school from the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that was passed by the assembly on February 28, 1787, just ten weeks before the opening of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. A brick building was erected in 1790 on the south side of Third Street and Cherry Alley for the Pittsburgh Academy. The small two-story brick building, with a gable facing the alley, contained three rooms: one below and two above.

Within a short period, more advanced education in the area was needed, so in 1819 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania amended the school's 1787 charter to confer university status. The school took the name the Western University of Pennsylvania, or WUP, and was intended to be the western sister institution to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. By 1830, WUP had moved into a new three-story, freestone-fronted building, with Ionic columns and a cupola, near its original buildings fronting the south side of Third Street, between Smithfield Street and Cherry Alley in downtown Pittsburgh. It was in this era that founder of Mellon Bank, Thomas Mellon (Class of 1837), graduated and later taught at WUP.

The University's buildings, along with most of its records and files, were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1845 that wiped out 20 square blocks of Pittsburgh. Classes were temporarily held in Trinity Church until a new building was constructed on Duquesne Way (on what was the site of the former Horne's department store). Only four years later, in 1849, this building also was destroyed by fire. Due to the catastrophic nature of these fires, operations were suspended for a few years to allow the University time to regroup and rebuild. By 1854, WUP had erected a new building on the corner of Ross and Diamond (now Forbes Avenue) streets (site of the present day City-County building) and classes resumed in 1855. It is during this era, in 1867, that Samuel Pierpoint Langley, inventor and aviation pioneer for which Langley Air Force Base is named, was chosen as director of the Allegheny Observatory that was donated to WUP in 1865. Langley was professor of astronomy and physics and remained at WUP until 1891, when he was succeeded by another prominent astronomer, James Keeler. Growing quickly during this period, WUP outgrew its downtown facilities and the university moved its campus to Allegheny City (present-day North Side).

The University eventually found itself on a 10-acre (40,000 m2) site on the North Side's Observatory Hill at the location of its Allegheny Observatory. There, it constructed two new buildings, Science Hall and Main Hall, that were occupied by 1889 and 1890 respectively. During this era, the first collegiate football team was formed at Pitt in 1889. In 1892, the Western Pennsylvania Medical College was amalgamated into the University. By 1893, the University had graduated its first African-American, William Dammond. In 1895, WUP established its School of Law and Andrew Carnegie and George Westinghouse were elected to the Board of Trustees, where they joined Andrew Mellon who was elected in 1894. The Pittsburgh College of Pharmacy and Pittsburgh Dental School also joined the University in 1896. In 1898, the first women, sisters Margaret and Stella Stein, graduated from the University. During this period, University engineering professor Reginald Fessenden was conducting pioneering work in radio broadcasting. By 1904, playing at Exposition Park, the University had its first undefeated football team.

Citing a need to avoid confusion, distinguish itself from the University of Pennsylvania, and return to its roots by identifying itself with the city, the Western University of Pennsylvania, by act of the state legislature, was renamed the University of Pittsburgh in the summer of 1908. During this time, Pitt had also outgrown its accommodations on what is now the North Side of Pittsburgh and its departments had been scattered throughout the city for years. To consolidate all of its components on one campus, WUP bought 43 acres (170,000 m2) of land in December 1907 in what is now the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh and began relocating departments there by 1909. The initial campus plan for the University centered on the winning submission from a national architectural contest that incorporated a Greek Acropolis design by Henry Hornbostel for 30 buildings. However, due to financial and other constraints, only four of the buildings were constructed in this style, of which only Thaw Hall remains today.

In the 1920s, new university chancellor John Gabbert Bowman declared that he had a vision for a centerpiece "tall building" for the university. The 14 acres (5.7 ha) Frick Acres property in Oakland was soon purchased and plans for the campus shifted focus from the hillside to a neo-Gothic Revival plan that today comprises the Cathedral of Learning, Heinz Memorial Chapel, Stephen Foster Memorial, and Clapp Hall buildings. By 1925, Bowman had settled on a design by Charles Klauder for the "tall building": an attention-getting 535-foot (163 m) tower whose great height, with open spaces all around, would suggest the "character that ought to be in an educated man." The building's "parallel lines going up and up...would express courage fearlessness" and it would "unify Pittsburgh into a community conscious of its character." The Cathedral is "cut off" flat at the top to suggest that its lines, like education, have no ending. The building was financed by donors as well as a campaign to collect dimes from local school children. Bowman was a persuasive leader and although the Great Depression intervened, the Cathedral of Learning, on which construction was begun in 1926, was finally finished in 1937. Today, it remains the second-tallest education building in the world and contains an equally-impressive interior highlighted by a half-acre (2,000 m²) Gothic hall Commons Room with 52-foot (16 m) tall arches surrounded by 27 Nationality Rooms.

In the early 20th century, epidemics of polio began to hit the United States and other industrialized countries. As hospital wards filled with patients in iron lungs, and tens of thousands were left crippled, fear of contracting polio grew rampant and led to the closing of many public facilities. Meanwhile, Dr. Jonas Salk had set up the University of Pittsburgh's Virus Research Lab in the basement of what is now Salk Hall. By 1951, Salk and his team had begun immunization experiments in monkeys using dead polio virus. Soon, however, Salk began to test inoculations in paralyzed polio patients and by 1953 human trials among the general population were initiated. By the spring of the following year, the largest controlled field trials in medical history were underway, and by 1955 the vaccine developed by Jonas Salk and his team of Pitt researchers was declared effective. By 1962, Salk's vaccine had reduced the incidence of polio in the United States by 95 percent. The breakthroughs in immunology and vaccine development at Pitt by Salk and his team are considered one of the most significant scientific and medical achievements in history.

In 1966, Pitt was designated by Pennsylvania as a state-related university. As such, Pitt receives public funds (currently more than $200 million per annum) and offers reduced tuition to Pennsylvania residents. Pitt remains under independent control, but is typically categorized as a public university. Upon affiliation with the state, subsidized tuition led to a massive influx of new students and rapid expansion of Pitt's size and scope. In the 1970s, Pitt's football team returned to greatness with a national championship season in 1976 led by Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett and continued success in the 1980s with players such as Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino. In the 1980s, significant medical research in the field of organ transplantation was conducted by Thomas Starzl, establishing Pitt as the world leader in the field of organ transplantation. In 1991, long-time chancellor Wesley Posvar retired after 24 years in office. His administration is best known for elimination of the university's debt from its 1960s financial crisis and for increasing the school's prestige and endowment. Under Posvar, Pitt's operating budget grew sevenfold to $630 million and its endowment tripled to $257 million. Mark Nordenberg has been chancellor of the University since 1995 and is leading Pitt through a period of substantial progress, including a $2-billion capital-raising campaign that is over half-way toward achieving its goal and a $1-billion 12-year facilities plan. Pitt's endowment in 2007 reached $2.254 billion, a 25 percent increase from 2006 . In 2008, it ranked 29th among all college endowments and 8th nationally among public universities.

The University of Pittsburgh's main campus comprises approximately 132 urban acres (0.53 km2) located in Pittsburgh's historic Oakland neighborhood. Much of the campus, including its centerpiece 42-story Cathedral of Learning, falls within the Oakland Civic Center/Schenley Farms National Historic District. The campus contains an eclectic mix of architecture that includes Greek revival, Neogothic, Italian Renaissance, and modern. It has been termed "a theme park of replica buildings, representing the architecture of the past speaking to the present." The campus was won multiple Green Star Awards from the Professional Grounds Management Society.

The University of Pittsburgh's main campus has four main parts: upper (sports complexes, residence halls); mid (Benedum, Chevron, Allen and Thaw Halls); lower (Cathedral of Learning, Union, Posvar Hall); and on the west end of campus, the medical center complex. The campus is generally bordered by Darragh Street/McKee Place to the west and Bellefield Avenue/Dithridge Street to the east; Forbes and Fifth avenues traverse the campus from west to east.

The main campus abuts or is within a short walking distance of many recreational, cultural, and educational institutions that also populate the Oakland neighborhood. The campus is directly adjacent to Schenley Plaza, the main branch of the Carnegie Public Library, the Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art, and the Carnegie Music Hall. Carlow University is just west of campus, adjacent to the University's medical center complexes. Carnegie Mellon University, Central Catholic High School and historic Schenley Park, site of the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, lie across Junction Hollow on the east end. Some Pitt professors also hold adjunct professorships at Carnegie Mellon and vice-versa.

There are two University buildings listed separately on the National Register of Historic Places: Allegheny Observatory (in Pittsburgh's Riverview Park on the Northside) and the Cathedral of Learning. Twenty-one of Pitt's buildings (including the 5 residence halls that make up Schenley Quadrangle, see below) are contributing properties to the Schenley Farms-Oakland Civic Center Historic District that has been designated a National Historic District.

Due to the historical nature of various sites in or around Pitt's buildings, the state of Pennsylvania has placed historical markers outside the Allegheny Observatory, Posvar Hall, Salk Hall, Stephen Foster Memorial, and the William Pitt Union. In addition, a Pennsylvania Historical Marker has been placed on campus near the Cathedral of Learning to mark the significance of the University of Pittsburgh itself. Another state historical marker has been placed to highlight the significance of Pitt's involvement in the archaeological excavation at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Avella, Pennsylvania.

In addition, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation has designated the following Pitt buildings as Pittsburgh Historic Landmarks: Allegheny Observatory, Allen Hall, Alumni Hall, Bellefield Hall, Chancellor's Residence, Cathedral of Learning, the Cathedral of Learning interior rooms, Gardner Steel Conference Center, Heinz Memorial Chapel, Thaw Hall, Salk Hall, Schenley Quadrangle residence halls, Stephen Foster Memorial, the University Child Development Center, and the William Pitt Union.

Other Pitt buildings not designated individually as landmarks, but listed among the 17 Pitt-owned contributing properties to the Schenley Farms Historic District, include Clapp Hall, Ruskin Hall, Thackeray Hall, Frick Fine Arts Building, Music Building, University Club, and the University Place Office Building.

Buildings not belonging to Pitt, but historic structures within, near, or adjacent to Pitt's campus, include the Carnegie Museum buildings, Frick School, Forbes Field wall remnant, Magee Estate iron fence, the Schenley Fountain, Mellon Institute, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, St. Paul's Cathedral, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Schenley High School, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, and the Stephen Foster sculpture. Many of these buildings and their facilities are integrated into the events and activities of the university.

The majority of Pitt-owned buildings reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the home of its main campus. The major concentration of buildings comprise Pitt's main campus centered in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh including within the Schenley Farms Historic District, however a few facilities are scattered elsewhere throughout the city, including the adjacent Shadyside neighborhood. Along with regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville, Pitt also has a Computer Center in RIDC Park in Blawnox, the Plum Boro Science Center in Plum, the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center (U-PARC) in Harmarville, Pennsylvania, the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology in Linesville, Pennsylvania, and the Allen L. Cook Spring Creek Preserve archeological research site in Spring Creek, Wyoming.

Athletic facilities of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers that are located in Oakland in the upper campus and include the Charles L Cost Sports Center, Fitzgerald Field House, the Petersen Events Center, Trees Hall and Trees Field. A major upgrade of on-campus facilities, including a new soccer, baseball, softball, track and field, and band complex, was announced in 2007. Athletic facilities located elsewhere that are utilized by Pitt's sports teams include Heinz Field and the UPMC Sports Performance Complex.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) consists of the following hospitals and facilities in the Oakland area, many of which have shared use with various university departments: UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, UPMC Montefiore Hospital, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Magee-Women's Hospital of UPMC, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Thomas Detre Hall, Eye and Ear Institute, Forbes Tower (home to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences), Iroquois Building, Kaufman Medical Building, Medical Arts Building, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC's Rangos Research Center, 230 McKee Place, and UPMC University Center. UPMC facilities are also scattered elsewhere throughout the city, including UPMC Shadyside and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in the Hillman Cancer Center located in the Shadyside neighborhood adjacent to Oakland.

In the fall of 1909, the University of Pittsburgh was the first college or university to adopt the panther (Puma concolor) as its mascot. Popular as photo sites, there are ten representations of Panthers in and about Pitt's campus, and ten more painted fiberglass panthers placed around the campus by the Pitt Student Government. These fiberglass panther structures are given to a campus group for a year and painted by the group to reflect their interests. The oldest representations are four panthers that guard each corner of the Panther Hollow bridge. Other Oakland locations include both inside and in front of the William Pitt Union, outside the Petersen Events Center, "Pitt the Panther" on the carousel in Schenley Plaza, the Panther head fountain on the front of the Cathedral of Learning, and the Pitt Panther statue outside Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side.

Throughout its history, Pitt has been committed to a liberal arts education with a well-rounded curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Pitt has an increasing emphasis on undergraduate research experience and for providing real-world opportunities such as co-ops and internships. Undergraduate degrees can be earned as Bachelor's of Arts, Bachelor's of Science, and Bachelor's of Philosophy. Along with providing certificate programs, graduate level masters, professional, and doctoral degrees are also awarded. Pitt has also initiated a University-wide Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) that includes a structured series of extracurricular programs and experiences designed to complement students' academic studies and help develop personal attributes and professional skills. Students who complete the OCC requirements receive an OCC "transcript" and a green cord of distinction to wear at commencement.

Pitt’s history of commitment to international education is illustrated by its unique collection of 27 Nationality Rooms on the first and third floors of the Cathedral of Learning. As a demonstration of this commitment, Pitt is one of the country’s leading producers of both Fulbright scholars and Peace Corps volunteers and one of only 17 American universities to claim four or more area studies programs that have been competitively designated National Resource Centers by the U.S. Department of Education.

The National Resource Centers designated at Pitt include the Asian Studies Center, Latin American, Russian and East European, and European centers as well as Pitt's International Business Center. In addition, Pitt's Asian Studies Center has been awarded status as one of only 22 Confucius Institutes in the U.S. by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Also, Pitt is home to one of just ten European Union Centers of Excellence in the U.S., funded by the European Commission.

The University Center for International Studies (UCIS) coordinates international education curricula, centers on topical specializations in international studies, and the centers for area studies, including the National Resource Centers, among existing faculty and departments throughout the university. It does not itself give degrees but awards certificates of attainment to degree candidates in the University's schools and also operates certificate programs in African Studies (undergraduate) and in Global Studies (undergraduate & graduate). UCIS also operates the Study Abroad Office, Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs.

The Center for Measuring University Performance has ranked Pitt, along with only six other schools, in the top tier of U.S. public research universities and in the 6th tier (or top 26) among all universities according to its 2006 annual report.

In 2007, U.S. News & World Report ranked Pitt 19th among public universities in the United States and 57th among all national universities. In addition, Kiplinger has rated Pitt the 30th best value among public universities in their rankings for 2009.

In worldwide evaluations of universities, Newsweek ranked Pitt 37th in its "The Top 100 Global Universities." Pitt ranked 49th worldwide (and 36th in the U.S.) in the Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities. Pitt ranked 77th out of the top 100 institutions in the world, 28th out of all U.S. institutions, and 9th out out of all public U.S. institutions according to the “Times Higher-QS World University Rankings 2007,” by The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) and Quacquarelli Symonds.

Pitt's Department of Philosophy has long been renowned in the U.S. and worldwide, and is especially strong in the areas of mathematical and philosophical logic, metaphysics, history and philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of mind and psychology, and semantics.

The University also is a leader in the field of business studies. The Joseph M. Katz School of Business MBA program is ranked first in the U.S. in "Value for Money," 51st overall in the nation, and its faculty research is ranked 47th in the world by the 2007 Financial Times ranking. The Joseph Katz Graduate School consistently ranks among the top ten public business schools in the U.S. according to The Wall Street Journal.

Pitt's law school faculty has been ranked 21st in the nation based upon standard objective measures of scholarly impact.

Pitt is home to the Gertrude E. and John M. Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering, which was ranked second in the nation in 2006 for microscale and nanoscale research by the leading global trade publication, Small Times. Pitt also is a global leader in Radio-frequency identification device (RFID) technology, with its research program rated among the top three in the world along with MIT and the University of Cambridge in England.

In addition to the three national military academies, Pitt is one of only nine universities, and the only public university, to claim both Rhodes and Marshall Scholars in 2007. Since 1995, Pitt undergraduates have won two Rhodes Scholarships, six Marshall Scholarships, five Truman Scholarships, four Udall Scholarships, a Churchill Scholarship, a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, 31 Goldwater Scholarships, and three Mellon Humanities Fellowships.

Pitt alumni have won awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Prize in medicine, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the Shaw Prize in medicine, the Albany Prize in medicine, the Fritz Medal in engineering, the Templeton Prize, and the Grainger Challenge Prize for sustainability.

Pitt is also a leading producer of Fulbright scholars.

Pitt, one of 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities, has a strong research presence, ranking among the top 20 universities in the country in terms of total research and development expenditures in science and engineering, 13th in the U.S. in total federal science and engineering research expenditures, and 10th in total federal obligations for science and engineering research and development. Pitt is ranked 21st in the world according to the 2007 Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities by the HIgher Education Evaluation & Accrediation Council of Taiwan and 29th in the world based on Essential Science Indicators according to the Research Center for Chinese Science Evaluation of Wuhan University. Pitt places much emphasis on undergraduate research and has integrated such research experience as a key component of its undergraduate experience.

Pitt is a major center of biomedical research; in FY 2006, it ranked sixth in the nation in competitive peer-reviewed NIH funding allocations, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ranked 13th among hospitals nationwide by USNews in 2006.

Pitt was one of just seven AAU-member research universities included in a list of "best neighbor" urban colleges and universities released by the president of the New England Board of Higher Education in 2006, which cited these schools as "dramatically strengthening the economy and quality of life in their neighboring communities." Each year, Pitt spends more than $1.5 billion in the community and supports more than 32,000 jobs in Allegheny County. Pitt's research program alone imports more than $630 million into the region each year (more than $3.60 for each $1 of state appropriations), and supports some 23,000 local jobs. Pitt students also spend more than $213 million on goods, services, and rental payments within the local economy. Pitt ranked sixth in the number of startups spawned by technologies developed by its researchers according to Association of University Technology Managers.

Pitt and its medical school are closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. With over 40,000 employees and more than $5 billion in annual revenue, the Medical Center is the largest employer in western Pennsylvania.

Through the Pitt Volunteer Pool, faculty and staff members donate more than 10,000 hours annually to community service projects for agencies such as the Salvation Army, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Pitt also is a leading producer of Peace Corps volunteers. According to the Peace Corps' 2008 ranking of colleges and universities, only 14 schools in the nation produced more Peace Corp volunteers. Pitt's graduate school also ranked 10th for most alumni Peace Corps volunteers.

The University of Pittsburgh's sports teams, the "Pittsburgh Panthers" or "Pitt Panthers," participate in NCAA Division I (Division I FBS for football) and in the Big East Conference.

In intercollegiate athletics, Pitt’s highest-profile programs, football and men’s basketball, are consistently competitive. Recently, ESPN.com used the Sagarin system to rate universities based on the strength of their performance in football and men’s basketball over the course of the preceding five years. Pitt was tied for 10th as one of the nation’s top dual-sport schools. In a recent all-sports ranking done by Sports Illustrated on Campus, Pitt was ranked 17th among all U.S. universities in terms of the overall strength of its athletic program.

During 2006, of approximately 450 Pitt student athletes, 311 had term grade point averages exceeding 3.0, 23 had a perfect average of 4.0, and 124 were named Big East Academic All-Stars.

Traditionally the most popular sport at the University of Pittsburgh, football has been played at the highest levels at the University since 1890. During the more than 100 years of competitive football at Pitt, the University has helped pioneer the sport by, among other things, instituting the use of numbers on jersey's and desegregating the Sugar Bowl. Some of college football's all-time greatest coaches and players have plied their trade at Pitt, including Pop Warner, Jock Sutherland, Marshall Goldberg, Joe Schmidt, Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Hugh Green, Mark May, Dan Marino, Bill Fralic, and Larry Fitzgerald. Among the top schools in terms of all-time wins, Pitt teams have claimed nine National Championships and boast 86 players that have been chosen as first-team All-Americans.

Pitt first sponsored varsity men's basketball in 1905 and soon become a national power winning two Helms Foundation National Championships in 1927–28 and 1929–30. Those teams, coached by the innovative and legendary Naismith Hall of Fame inductee "Doc" Carlson, were led by National Player of the Year and Hall of Famer Charlie Hyatt. Following a Final Four appearance in 1941, Pitt appeared in a handful of NCAA tournaments throughout the 50, 60s, and 70s, including a Elite Eight appearance in 1974 led by All-American Billy Knight. Pitt entered the Big East Conference in 1982, and by the end of the decade had secured a pair of Big East regular season championships led by All-Americans Charles Smith and Jerome Lane. Beginning with the hiring of Ben Howland as head coach in 1999, and continuing with his replacement by Jamie Dixon in 2003, an era of consistent national and conference competitiveness was entered. Since 2001, Pitt has achieved seven straight NCAA tournament appearances, four Sweet Sixteen appearances, three Big East regular season championships, two Big East Tournament Championships, and six Big East Tournament Championship game appearances.

The Pittsburgh Panthers Women's Varsity Basketball program started during the 1914–1915 school year and lasted until 1927 before going on hiatus until 1970. Pitt's women's team has posted several conference and NWIT/EAIAW Tournament Appearances, and led head coach Agnus Berenato, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and each of the last two years, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2008.

Pitt has had a long history of success in other intercollegiate athletic events. In Track and Field, Pitt has produced several Olympic and NCAA champions such as 800 m Olympic gold medalist John Woodruff, two-time 110 m hurdle Olympic gold medalist Roger Kingdom, and seven-time NCAA champion and 2005 World Champion triple jumper Trecia-Kaye Smith. The wrestling program has a rich history and is among the leaders in producing individual national champions with 16. Pitt's women's volleyball team is the 12th winningest program in the nation, has won 11 Big East championships, and appeared in 11 NCAA tournaments since the program began in 1974. Pitt's swimming and diving teams have produced several Olympians and won 19 men's and nine women's Big East Championships since joining the conference in 1983. Pitt women's gymnastics has qualified for the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship in all but two years in the past ten seasons. Baseball, Pitt's oldest sport, has produced many major league players and has become a regular participant in the Big East post-season championship. Other sports have also found success to varying degrees.

The history-rich Pitt Band was founded in 1911 and performs at athletic and other events. The Pitt cheerleaders have won multiple cheerleading national championships, including three straight from 1992–1994. The Pitt dance team also has been competitive in national competitions.

The University of Pittsburgh has had many individual lead it throughout its history. During the academy days, the title of Principal was worn by the head of the school. Due to fires, early records are incomplete. When Pittsburgh Academy transitioned into the Western University, the title was changed to Chancellor. This title has lasted except for a brief change during Wesley Posvar's administration when it was transiently switched to President. Samuel McCormick oversaw the name change from the Western University of Pennsylvania to the University of Pittsburgh in 1908 and is therefore listed with the chancellors of the University of Pittsburgh. Acting chancellors are also included in the list below. For more information on past heads of the University, and for photos, please see Pitt History: Heads of the University.

Pitt alumni have won a wide range of awards and prizes that include the Academy Award, the Super Bowl, the Nobel Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize. Others include awards from the National Medal of Arts, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology, and the MacArthur "Genius Award". The work of Pitt faculty and alumni have pioneered technology and advancement of society in profound ways and have been noted pioneers in such fields as astronomy, aviation, virology, nuclear energy, psychology, genetics in addition to garnering the popular titles such as the Father of Radio Broadcasting, the Father of Television, the Father of CPR, the Father of the MRI, and the Father of Organ Transplantation.

Annual Bonfire and Pep Rally hosted by the Pitt Program Council is held prior to or during some football games. Held on the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning, it often involves the band, cheerleaders, football team, visiting dignitaries, and giveaways.

Bigelow Bash is a spring festival held by the Pitt Program Council between the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning, involving a range of activities, novelties, and bands.

Fall Fest is an annual fall festival held by the Pitt Program Council between the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning, also involving a range of activities, novelties, and bands.

Football Tunnel is a tradition where student organizations, carrying standards, form a tunnel for the football players to run through as the enter the football field from the locker room. Originally, this long standing tradition involved only Pitt fraternities and sororities. The tradition was briefly lost following the 1999 season when Pitt's football program transitioned from playing in Pitt Stadium to Three Rivers Stadium in 2000 followed by Heinz Field in 2001. The tradition was resurrected beginning with the 2008 football season.

Forbes Field Home Plate Slide is a tradition for good luck on midterm and finals in which students slide into or step on a former home plate from Forbes Field, where the Pittsburgh Pirates played for many seasons. The plate is on display inside Posvar Hall near its original location.

Homecoming, as in other universities, revolves around one home football game each year. Pitt's homecoming involves activities hosted by the Pitt Program Council highlighted by fireworks and a laser-light display between the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning. This is followed by Casino Night in the union, the football game, and a homecoming cruise on a Gateway Clipper Party Liner.

Honors Convocation is a ceremony whose modern incarnation was begun in 1977, but whose roots date to the 1930s' Scholar's Day and Tap Day. The Honors Convocation is typically held in late winter to present awards and recognition for academic and service achievements of the students, faculty, alumni, and staff throughout the schools and departments of the university.

Lantern Night is an annual ceremony, initiated in 1921 one of the University’s longest standing traditions. It is a formal induction for freshman women to university life and unites them as they begin their education at Pitt. Traditionally held on the evening before the first day of classes, the ceremony today takes place in Heinz Chapel. Part of the Lantern Night tradition is for a distinguished alumna to give the freshman address, while other distinguished alumnae are flame bearers who light the lanterns given to each freshman woman as a keepsake.

Omicron Delta Kappa Walk is a stone walkway between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Memorial Chapel that contains the engraved names of Pitt's Omicron Delta Kappa Senior of the Year award winners. The walk is the only one of its kind in the country.

Panther Sendoff is an annual free reception typically held in Alumni Hall to congratulate each year's graduating class and wish them well.

Rubbing the Panther Nose is another good luck tradition in which students rub the nose of the Millennium Panther outside the William Pitt Union prior to exams.

University of Pittsburgh Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert is a fall lecture and concert series founded by Dr. Nathan Davis, professor in the Music Department, and University officials in 1970. Renowned jazz musicians, critics, and historians lead seminar sessions for students and others in the local jazz community. These sessions are free and open to the public and deal with topics ranging from entering the music business to practice techniques, composing, arranging, and individual instrument mastery. Previous musicians who have attending include Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, and Max Roach.

Varsity Walk is a walkway between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Memorial Chapel on which is carved the names of former Pitt athletes (each year since 1950) who have promoted the University through their athletic (Panther Award) or academic (Blue-Gold Award) achievements.

Victory Lights is a tradition where golden flood lights illuminate the top of the Cathedral of Learning after every football victory.

E-Week is a spring celebration organized by the Engineer Student Council for a week-long, fun-filled series of activities and competitions to demonstrate engineering skills and foster a spirit of camaraderie. Activities include games such as Monopoly, Ingenuity, Jeopardy, Assassins, and include a talent show, relay race, mini-Olympics, and blood drive. The festivities reach climax with a parade on Friday, a soapbox derby on Saturday, and the `e-ball finale` on Saturday evening. Each year, a unique theme is chosen. Each engineering department competes against the others, while some smaller departments join forces.

Greek Week Greek Week is a year long initive for the Greek organizations on campus to raise money for different charitable organizations through different events. The two biggest events each year are the Pitt Dance Marthon and Greek Sing. The Pitt Greeks have signed a contract with the Hilman Cancer Research Center to raise $500,000 over the next five years.

Pitt Arts is a program founded by the University in 1997 to encourage students to explore and connect to the art and cultural opportunities of the City of Pittsburgh via three programs. Art Encounters provides trips to arts events for undergrads that include free tickets, transportation, a catered reception, and encounters with international artists and thinkers. Free Visits grants undergrad and grad students free admission using their Pitt IDs to the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Senator John Heinz History Center, Phipps Conservatory, Mattress Factory, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Cheap Seats is a program that everyone at Pitt can use to take advantage of deeply-discounted tickets to the most sought-after arts events in the area, including the Pittsburgh ballet, opera, symphony, theater, concerts, and other cultural district activities.

There are over 350 student clubs and organizations at the University of Pittsburgh all sizes and covering all manner of interests. Some of the larger ones include the following.

Pitt Program Council is the all-campus programming organization at the University of Pittsburgh. Comprising eight student committees: Advertising, Arts, Lecture, Leisure Learning, Public Relations, Recreation, Special Events, and Travel. The Pitt Program Council offers an unlimited variety of programs and ways to get involved. Each committee is headed by a student Director, and committee members plan and execute dozens of events each semester, such as Fall Fest, Bigelow Bash, Homecoming Laser and Fireworks Show, trips to New York City, Cedar Point, Spring break in Panama City Beach, FL, art gallery exhibits, films, horseback riding, sports tournaments, lectures, fitness and dance classes, and Black and White Ball. All planning committees are open to student involvement at any time.

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) is the student government that represents the interests of all graduate and professional student at the University of Pittsburgh and serves as the umbrella organization for all of the graduate/professional school student governments. GPSA's mission is to act as the voice of our constituents and to actively ensure that the concerns of these students are heard.

GPSA includes both the GPSA Assembly and Assembly Groups. As the chief governing body of GPSA, the Assembly is composed of the four executive officers as well as representatives from each school's student governments. The Groups are organizations designed to represent specific needs of university students across different schools. GPSA funds come from the student activity fee. Examples of programs and services GPSA provides include the following: Annual funding to each graduate school's student government (in addition to supplemental funds for which any student groups may apply); travel grants to students presenting at conferences;free legal and financial consulting services (in conjunction with the undergraduate Student Government Board); sponsorship of additional activities ranging from social functions to academic workshops; representation on university-wide committees such as Provost's Advisory Committees, University Senate Standing Committees, and others; and free mentorship services for undergraduate students interested in applying to grad school.

Student Government Board (SGB) is the governing body that provides undergraduate students with representation as a student voice to University administration. The SGB represents the needs, interests, and concerns of all Pitt students. Another important aspect of the SGB is allocation of the student activities fee, which provides money to over 350 student organizations at the University of Pittsburgh.

The board is composed of a President and eight Board Members, all elected by the student body. The SGB also has ten standing committees who address various aspects of campus life, including diversity, freshman involvement, and governmental relations.

Blue and Gold Society, founded in 1991, is a group of undergraduate student leaders chosen as liaisons between the student community and the Pitt Alumni Association.

Oakland Zoo is the student athletic cheering section, and is an officially recognized student club by the University of Pittsburgh. At over 2,000 members, it is the largest such group at the University. The group helps participate with the Athletic Department and Pitt Student Government Board in setting student ticket policy as well as organizing special student events.

Pitt Pathfinders is a student-run organization that hosts campus tours, assists prospective students in making well-informed college-related decisions, and promotes Pitt pride.

Quo Vadis is a student organization that conducts guided tours and interpretations of the Cathedral of Learning's 27 Nationality Rooms.

Telefact is an informational telephone service run by students that researches and answers callers' questions. The service is free to use and can be reached at 412-624-FACT.

University of Pittsburgh Mock Trial is a year long extracurricular activity open to Pitt undergraduates that provides an opportunity to learn about the practice of litigation through a series of team-based mock trial competitions. Pitt Mock Trial has qualified for American Mock Trial Association post-season tournaments each of the last six years, finishing in the fifth overall place at the 2008 National Championship Tournament.

William Pitt Debating Union is a co-curricular program and hub for a wide range of debating activities, including intercollegiate policy debate, public debate, and debate outreach. 1981 National Debate Tournament champions, it has qualified for the National Debate Tournament forty times and is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the nation, growing from the University’s Division of Public Speaking in 1912.

In 2005 and 2006 the University of Pittsburgh Greek system raised $119,000 and $101,000, respectively, for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. The effort is part of the Pittsburgh Greek system's five-year pledge to raise $500,000 for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

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Pittsburgh Pirates (NHL)

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates were a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL), based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1925–26 to 1929–30. The nickname comes from the baseball team also based in the city. For the 1930–31 season the team moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and played one season as the Philadelphia Quakers.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' history traces back to the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets of the US Amateur Hockey Association. The Yellow Jackets' owner was a former referee named Roy Schooley. Even though the team won the USAHA Championship in 1924 and 1925, Schooley encountered financial problems. His team was purchased by attorney James F. Callahan. Callahan renamed the team the Pittsburgh Pirates, after he cashed in a favor from Barney Dreyfuss the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. During this time, Eddie Livingstone was eyeing Pittsburgh as a city for his proposed rival league to the NHL, and Frank Calder negotiated to put a franchise in Pittsburgh to thwart this. This resulted in the Pirates being granted a franchise by the National Hockey League (NHL) on November 7, 1925, becoming the seventh team to join the NHL as well as the league's third US-based team.

The Pirates were assigned, to what would later be called, the NHL's American Division with the Boston Bruins and the New York Americans. The only other American teams in the NHL were the Bruins (1924 - present) and the New York Americans (1925 - 1942). The Duquesne Gardens, located in the city's Oakland neighborhood, served as the team's home arena. The Pirates, dubbed the "Mighty Steel City Sextet" in the Pittsburgh Press, were comprised mostly of leftovers from the former Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets. Ten former Yellow Jacket players would play for the Pirates.

The Pirates first season was the 1925–26 NHL season. On Thanksgiving night 1925, the Pirates beat the Boston Bruins, 2-1, on the road in their very first NHL game on November 26, 1925 at the Boston Arena. Defenceman and captain Lionel Conacher scored Pittsburgh's first-ever NHL goal. Conacher beat Boston goaltender Charles Stewart at the 17:50 mark of the second period to tie the game at 1-1. Pirates' left wing Harold Darragh notched Pittsburgh's first game-winning goal 9:20 into the third period. While Pittsburgh goaltender Roy Worters stopped 26 of 27 shots to record the first win in franchise history.

Two nights later, on November 28, 1925, the Pirates would stun the Montreal Canadiens. Legendary Habs goaltender, Georges Vezina, would play his final game in a 1-0 loss to the Pirates. Vezina had started the game with severe chest pains and left the game during the first intermission with a high fever. He died four months later from tuberculosis.

The first NHL game ever played in Pittsburgh was on December 2, 1925 in which 8,200 fans paid $1.00 to see the 8:30 p.m. faceoff at The Gardens. The Pirates lost to the New York Americans in overtime, 2-1, and Conacher scored the lone goal for Pittsburgh at 9:15 of the second period.

In 36 games, the Pirates had an impressive 19 wins, 16 losses, and 1 tie for third best in the league. With a 0.542 winning percentage, that first season would arguably be the team's best. They made the playoffs their inaugural year. The Pirates faced the Montreal Maroons in a best-of-three, semi-final Stanley Cup playoff series. However the team lost the series to Montreal in two straight games at the Duquesne Gardens. The Maroons would later win the Stanley Cup.

After a good start to their franchise history, things went downhill from there. In their second season, 1926-1927, the Pirates missed the playoffs after finishing in fourth place.

The Pirates' third season (1927–28) was that other season. In their third season, 1927-1928, the Pirates had 19 wins, 17 losses, and 8 ties and made the playoffs. This playoff series would be based on a two game total goal series format. In the playoffs the Pirates would be beaten by the Rangers 6-4. As their 4-2 win in Game 2 could not overcome a 4-0 white washing that they suffered in Game 1. This marked the second time the team lost in the first round to the eventual Stanley Cup winner. It would turn out to be the last playoff game the Pirates would play.

In 1928 financial problems forced the original owner, Callahan, to sell the team to an ownership group which included mobster Bill Dwyer with fight promoter and ex-lightweight boxing champion, Benny Leonard as his front man. Despite the sale of the team, things didn't improve on the ice. Cleghorn left the team at the end of the 1928-1929 season and became a referee in the league. This led to the Pirates to assign coaching duties to Frank Fredrickson in 1929-30. The team also switched to black and orange uniforms for their fifth and what would be their final season. The 1929–30 season saw the Pirates achieve their worst win-loss record with 5 wins, 36 losses, and 3 ties in 44 games. In five seasons, they were above .500 only twice and made the playoffs only twice.

Things didn't improve financially either. With the stock market crash of 1929 followed by the Great Depression, the owners found themselves in financial difficulties. Attendance was down and they tried selling off their star players to make ends meet. The team was $400,000 in debt by the end of the 1929–30 season and in need to replace the aging Duquesne Gardens.

On October 18, 1930 at the NHL Governors meeting, Leonard moved the team to the other side of Pennsylvania and renamed them the Philadelphia Quakers. However, Leonard's intention was to return the team to Pittsburgh as soon as a new arena was built. Thirteen players from the Pirates were transferred to the Philadelphia Quakers after Pittsburgh franchise relocated. These players were Cliff Barton, Harold Darragh, Herb Drury, Gord Frasier, Jim Jarvis, Gerry Lowrey, Rennison Manners, Johnny McKinnon, Hib Milks, Joe Miller, Rodger Smith & Tex White. Frank Fredrickson was also transferred to the Quakers, but he was released by Philadelphia two days later. The Quakers had a wretched season in 1930–31. The team then received permission from the NHL on September 26, 1931 to temporally cease operations as they sought a permanent arena in either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.

Meanwhile the poor economy was taking a toll on the entire league. The Great Depression would devastate the NHL as 4 teams were forced to fold, leaving behind just six teams. When a new Pittsburgh arena failed to materialize, Leonard surrendered his franchise in 1936. As it turned out, a new arena in Pittsburgh wouldn't be built until the Pittsburgh Civic Arena (now Mellon Arena) opened in 1961. The NHL would play with six teams for 25 years before deciding to expand. The expansion in 1967 brought the Pittsburgh Penguins to the NHL and the city of Pittsburgh and the orange and black uniformed Philadelphia Flyers to Philadelphia. The last active Pirates player was Cliff Barton, who played his last NHL game in 1940.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have left their mark in the NHL record books and NHL history with many firsts and other notable achievements.

The Pirates were the first team in Pittsburgh to use the black & gold color scheme, basing their colors around the Flag of Pittsburgh's colors. Decades after the team folded, the colors have become the team colors of all three of Pittsburgh's major sports teams. However, during the team's existence, they would be the only team in the city with the colors, as the baseball team of the same name, like all other baseball teams at the time, had a more patriotic red, white, and blue color scheme and wouldn't adopt black & gold until 1948. The NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers were not in existence until 1933, three years after the team left town and two years after the franchise folded altogether.

The Pirates would later have a connection with Pittsburgh's next NHL franchise; the Pittsburgh Penguins used the Pirates as an example of a team other than the Boston Bruins using the black & gold color scheme when the Bruins protested to the NHL over the Penguins change in team colors in January 1980. The NHL allowed the Penguins to change their colors as a result of the Pirates using these colors.

The Pirates wore bright yellow wool jerseys with black trim stripes with a "P" on the front of their jerseys during the 1925-1926 season. The team used the Pittsburgh's city crest emblems from older police jackets on the uniform sleeves. Callahan's brother was a policeman in the city and offered the use of police emblems to the team. The first year jerseys appear to have been inherited from the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets old jerseys. The Pirates featured new jerseys in 1928-29 that were gold with black striping. The word "Pirates" written in arched, blocked lettering. The city crest on the sleeves was replaced with a "P".

In 1929-30 the Pirates switched to black and orange uniforms for their fifth and final season. The wool jerseys featured a chain-knit logo of a pirate face with an eye patch and hat with skull and cross bones. The jersey featured double striping on the sleeves and a diagonal background behind the crest. The orange and black remained when the Pirates moved across the state to become the Quakers, Philadelphia's first NHL team, adopting script lettering like the original Pirates' uniforms. When the Philadelphia Flyers joined the NHL in 1967, they adopted the orange and black colors first worn by the Pirates and Quakers.

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Source : Wikipedia