Alumni Association Gala

Celebrating Pitt-Johnstown Alumni

Join Pitt-Johnstown alumni, current and retired faculty and staff, and friends from the community for a celebration honoring our distinguished alumni.

The September 30, 2016, event will take place at Heritage Hall in the Living-Learning Center, beginning at 6 p.m. A social segment and silent auction will begin at 5:45 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. (Silent auction items are listed below.)

With more than 21,000 alumni worldwide, there is much to celebrate! The evening will recognize the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year honoree Thomas Kurtz, Legacy Award recipient Ralph Graff and Young Alumna of the Year winner Kecia Bal. 

Proceeds from this event provide scholarships to deserving students.

Reservation deadline extended to September 23, 2016. Call: 814-269-2080

The 2016 Distinguished Alumni awardees: 

Distinguished Alumnus of the Year - Thomas Kurtz, class of ’77.
Tom is the President and CEO of the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber. Mr. Kurtz earned an MBA in Medical Practice Management and is one of approximately 600 people in the country with this degree. He is also a certified member in the American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE). In addition to his current position, Mr. Kurtz is also the Chairman of the3 Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Keystone Chapter, and is also a member of numerous other boards such as JARI, Johnstown YMCA, and Chairman of the Pitt-Johnstown Board of Advisors. Mr. Kurtz has also developed and taught classes in Healthcare Sociology at Penn Highlands Community College and Mount Aloysius College.

Legacy Award - Ralph Graff, class of ’47.
An Alumnus of the 1947 class of the University of Pittsburgh, Ralph Graff began his education at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s original concrete campus in Moxham after serving in the United States Army 6th Signal Corps during World War II. A chemical engineer and expert in elastomeric polymers, Mr. Graff spend 40 yard working for the DuPont Company, and retired as the head of Market Exploration of Elastomers. Mr. Graff was a 65-year member of the American Chemical Society. While a student at Pitt-Johnstown, he was involved with a number of organizations, including president of Sigma Tau engineering honor society and the editor of the Panther Club, UPJ’s first student-run yearbook. Mr. Graff is a generous supporter of Pitt-Johnstown student scholarships because he credits donor support of scholarship for his success.

Young Alumna of the Year - Kecia Bal, class of ’04.
A reporter with The Tribune-Democrat, Kecia has more than a decade of professional storytelling, writing, and editing experience. More than 5,000 of her articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and online. Her work has appeared across the country, from Human Resource Executive Magazine and The Los Angeles Times to numerous trade publications. Kecia was recently selected to write a novel with best-selling author James Patterson after winning a competition through Master Class. Bal covers the business beat and Somerset County for The Tribune-Democrat. She recently took home first place awards in the Keystone Press and Golden Quills journalism contests.


Silent auction items

  • Pair of pink earrings from Precious Metals
  • Pitt-Johnstown basket filled with items from our Book Center 
  • Wooden Chest (Stein World Operating Company)
  • "A Tribute to the Past" (Pictures of Pitt-Johnstown- Picture Frame)
  • Ralph Lauren Gift Set
  • Zoom Dental Package (Dr. Ernie Mantini)
  • Bill Mazeroski Pirates Autographed 1960 World Series home run photo framed
  • Gerrit Cole Pirates Autographed baseball w/case
  • Willie Stargell autographed Pirates collage
  • Ben Roethlisberger autographed Steelers full-sized helmet
  • Jack Ham autographed Steelers jersey
  • Jerome Bettis/Hines Ward Steelers autographed 16x20 photo framed
  • Terry Bradshaw autographed Steelers full-size helmet
  • Tony Dorsett autographed University of Pittsburgh jersey
  • Arnold Palmer autographed collage
  • Jack Nicklaus autographed Masters flag framed
  • 1980 Miracle on Ice 16x20 Photo framed- autographed by entire team
  • Evgeni Malkin Penguins autographed 16x20 photo framed
  • Kris Letang autographed Penguins jersey
  • Pittsburgh Penguins Consol Energy Center 44x20 framed panoramic print
  • Sydney Crosby Penguins autographed framed collage
  • 1999 Women’s World Cup celebration 16x20 framed photo autographed by 20, including Mia Hamm
  • Abby Wambach autographed soccer ball
  • Tim Howard autographed USA soccer jersey
  • Michael Phelps autographed 16x20 photo framed
  • Chevy Chase autographed 11x17 “Vacation” movie poster framed