Goodwill Arches Illuminate the Spirit of the Season at UPJ
A new tradition will usher in the season at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Monday night as the campus unveils its new Goodwill Arches. The Goodwill Arches, which will line the sidewalk leading up to the UPJ Mountain Cat statue, feature ten arches containing more than 4,000 blue and gold lights.
Community members, alumni, students, and employees are invited to join the light-up night celebration scheduled from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Monday, December 3 on the campus mall. The UPJ choir will perform seasonal songs, while UPJ’s mascot (the Mountain Cat) will be on hand to distribute special UPJ-themed candy canes to the children. Eggnog, hot chocolate, and blue and gold cookies will be served. UPJ President Dr. Jem Spectar will officially light the arches at 5:15 p.m. when dusk turns to dark. For those out of the area, the festivities will also be broadcast live via the UPJ web cam at www.upj.pitt.edu.
In keeping with the theme of goodwill, non-perishable food items are being collected by the UPJ Blue and Gold Society (student ambassadors) at the event. All food items collected will be donated to the Salvation Army.
UPJ boasts 17,000 alumni, many of whom are local natives. The new "Goodwill Arches" tradition is as much for them and the community as it is for current students. Bob Knipple, Director of Alumni and Community Relations, stated, "It is our hope that alumni who are coming home for the holidays will visit the campus with their families to take photographs. The Arches provide an ideal photo opportunity, along with other new UPJ traditions: the Mountain Cat statue, Heritage Square, and the Redbud Tree Grove. They are also our way to kick off the holiday season Mountain Cat style!"
Other areas that will be sparkling in blue and gold lights include the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, the Living/Learning Center, and the stone entrance marker. The lights will be illuminated from dusk to dawn throughout through the month of January. Special thanks are extended to Home Depot for the donation of the lights.
UPJ is a vital knowledge center defining excellence and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural and economic environment through: excellent faculty teaching, scholarship, and service, as well as enriching faculty-student mentorships and collaborations in scholarship, research, and creative activity; operating as a top employer and key partner in shaping the economic future with an annual impact exceeding $60 million; engaging the community through exceptional volunteerism by faculty, staff, and students; expanding the workforce capacity by linking theory to practice through experiences such as internships and service learning projects; exceeding the national averages of student graduation and retention rates of similar institutions; a tradition of athletic excellence, with nationally recognized and award-winning programs; 17,000 alumni making a difference throughout the community and world; and by growing partnerships with businesses in areas such as healthcare, education, commerce, technology, and the arts.