Mark A. Nordenberg, University of Pittsburgh chancellor and chief executive officer, will deliver the main address at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Commencement ceremony honoring graduating seniors at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in the college’s Sports Center.
Chancellor Nordenberg is the University’s 17th chancellor. In this role, he leads one of the nation’s leading public research universities, one of only seven in the uppermost tier of the nation’s public research universities and one of Western Pennsylvania’s largest employers, with more than 12,000 employees and 33,500 students on five campuses.
Chancellor Nordenberg is a graduate of Thiel College (BA ’70) and the University of Wisconsin Law School (JD ’73). He came to the University of Pittsburgh in 1977, when he joined the Pitt law faculty. He served as dean of the School of Law from 1985 until 1993 and as interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs from 1993 to 1994. In 1994, he was elevated to the special faculty rank of Distinguished Service Professor. The University’s Board of Trustees elected him interim chancellor in 1995 and chancellor a year later.
An award-winning teacher, Chancellor Nordenberg was the first recipient of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Excellence-in-Teaching Award. In 1985, he was among the first recipients of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, recognizing teaching excellence University-wide. His area of scholarly specialty can be described broadly as civil litigation. He has published books, articles, and reports in that area and also has served as a member of both the U.S. Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and the Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee.
The chancellor has been involved in a wide range of civic activities. He is a founding co-chair of the boards of The Technology Collaborative and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. He also has served on the following boards: Association of American Universities, Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education, Mellon Financial Corporation, and the Urban League of Pittsburgh, among others.
In 1997, Chancellor Nordenberg was honored as Person of the Year in Education by Vectors Pittsburgh. A year later, that same group selected him as Pittsburgh’s overall Person of the Year. In 1999, he was named as a Pittsburgh magazine Pittsburgher of the Year for his role as a policymaker and “champion of regionalism.”
Chancellor Nordenberg shared in 2001 Pittsburgh magazine’s Pittsburgher of the Year award with Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon. The award recognized the cooperative accomplishments of Chancellor Nordenberg and President Cohon in regional development initiatives.
In 2003, Chancellor Nordenberg and President Cohon shared honors again when they received the Person of Vision award, which is presented to outstanding community leaders by Pittsburgh Vision Services. Chancellor Nordenberg also has been consistently named one of the region’s top 10 business leaders by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Chancellor Nordenberg’s more recent awards include the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, District II; the Nellie Leadership Award from Three Rivers Youth; and the Kesher Award from the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center, another award that he shared with President Cohon. The chancellor also chairs a Citizens Advisory Committee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of City-County Government.
The commencement will honor approximately 646 seniors who completed Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Associate of Science degree requirements in August or December 2006, or are completing requirements in April or June of this year. Approximately 400 seniors will participate in the ceremony.
Gladys Go (’92), president of the Pitt Johnstown Alumni Association, will recognize graduates as new members of the Association and encourage them to support the college by becoming active in the Association.
Dr. Katherine Reist, associate professor of history, will serve as grand marshal for the ceremonies, which include a procession of graduates, faculty, staff, administration, and members of the UPJ Advisory Board.
Karamie Hess of Nanty Glo; Jill Gearhart of Salix; Karla Osewalt of Altoona, and Danielle McVey of Lower Burrell, will lead the singing of the national anthem and alma mater.
Dr. Jerry Samples, vice president for academic and student affairs, will present the graduating seniors. Dr. Jonathan Gonder, associate vice president for academic affairs, will read the list of graduating seniors.
Each academic division of the university will host a reception for seniors, their parents, and guests immediately following the ceremony in the Student Union.
Faculty marshals are Amy Miller, assistant professor of mechanical engineering technology; Dan Santoro, associate professor of sociology; Jean James, associate professor of education; Lisa Bell-Loncella, associate professor of chemistry; Ron Vickroy, associate professor of management; and Carrie Rohman, assistant professor of English.
Founded in 1927 and celebrating 80 years, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is a four-year, degree-granting college of the University of Pittsburgh with an enrollment of approximately 3,200. The university offers more than 40 majors and is known for its engineering technology, education, humanities, and natural and social sciences degree programs. UPJ has been ranked “Third in the North” among public comprehensive colleges and universities, northern region, by U.S. News and World Report, America’s Best Colleges, 2007.