The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s weeklong Homecoming and Family Weekend celebration coincides with the 86th anniversary of Pitt-Johnstown’s founding in 1927 and the 46th anniversary of the dedication of the school’s Richland Township campus. The celebration will kick off with the annual PITT-nic in the Park on Wednesday, September 25 in downtown Johnstown where the school first began. The event, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Central Park, features free hot dogs, popcorn, dessert, beverages, prizes, and a special performance of “The Second Shepherd’s Play” by the Pitt-Johnstown Student Theatre Troupe at 11:30. The school’s mascot, PJ the Mountain Cat, will be on hand to distribute balloons, greet visitors, and pose for photos. PITT-nic in the Park, established in 2006, is a signature component of Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service.
On Friday, September 27, the campus and community will join together for a Grand Opening Ceremony for the Nursing and Health Sciences building at 3 p.m. The $12 million, 26,000-square-foot facility includes 11 laboratories for chemistry and biology, one nursing simulation laboratory, six faculty offices, and two seminar/classrooms.
Later that evening at 8:30 p.m. on the campus mall, Zambelli Fireworks, one of the nation’s oldest and largest fireworks companies and known as the “First Family of Fireworks,” will launch a spectacular display choreographed to music. The Pitt-Johnstown Alumni Association will host a reception earlier that evening for alumni and current and retired faculty and staff. Advance registration is preferred for the reception. Musical entertainment will be provided throughout the evening by Casey Weston, a singer-songwriter who has opened for Top 40 and Country acts on the national concert circuit and was one of the eight finalists in the inaugural season of the television sensation The Voice. The evening will close with a 9 p.m. showing of “The Hangover” on the Owen Library lawn.
On Saturday, September 28, festivities begin with a Homecoming parade at 11 a.m. The Las Vegas-themed parade will feature floats and banners, the Forest Hills marching band, and Homecoming queen candidates. The parade will form at the Richland Cinemas before moving onto Theatre Drive then onto Schoolhouse Road. The parade will enter campus via Picking Drive and proceed onto Kunk’s Drive where a reviewing stand will be erected in front of the J. Irving Whalley Memorial Chapel.
Immediately following the parade, the coronation of the 2013 Homecoming Queen will be held at 12:30 at University Square. The afternoon will include a number of activities for children of all ages ranging from a live performance by Pitt-Johnstown’s own “Mad Scientist” David Willey (nationally known for his appearances on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”), an up-close and personal look at more than a dozen different animals at the Pitt-Johnstown Zoo, and an ice cream extravaganza sponsored by the Education Division Alumni. The evening will close with a Casino Night in the Student Union, as well as a concert at the Log Cabin featuring Dead Irish Blues sponsored by Eagle Ridge Industries. Advance registration is required for the concert.
For a complete listing of Homecoming and Family Weekend activities, visit www.pitt-johnstown.pitt.edu/Homecoming.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” by AC Online as one of the “Highest ROI Colleges in Pennsylvania,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization." Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.