Pitt legacy students and those who blazed a trail before them honored at luncheon
Panther pride runs deep among Pitt students and alumni. For most, it starts the day the acceptance letter arrives in the mail. For others, it seems like it is in their DNA.
“My parents have always talked about how much they loved Pitt and now I am beginning to understand why,” said Meg Anderson who started her Pitt career this fall with an eye on accounting and information systems. Her parents, John Kaye (A&S ’84, KGSB ’85) and Kim Anderson (KGSB ’85, PhD ’94), met while attending Pitt and were married in Heinz Chapel.
They encouraged Meg to apply to other schools but she says she liked Pitt’s campus and all the school had to offer more than any other university that she visited. “I guess I was always hoping to come here,” Meg said with a smile. It also helped that she was awarded the Andrew J. Kuzneski Jr. Alumni Recognition Scholarship, which is given to an incoming legacy student.
Meg, Kim, and John were among 285 Panthers at the 2019 Legacy Luncheon on the Pittsburgh campus Tuesday, August 20, 2019. The annual event the week before fall classes begin celebrates alumni and first-year students who have made Pitt a family tradition. Invitations are extended to incoming students with alumni parents, grandparents, or siblings.
“I love this event,” said Marcie Johnson, University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association (PAA) Director of Young Alumni & Student Programs. “It is a great way for students and their Pitt alumni family members to focus on Pitt pride during such a hectic week filled with change, excitement, anticipation, and a few tears.”
Most of the students who were at the event hail from western Pennsylvania and boast a parent (or two) as their claim to being a “legacy student.” Some can even boast an aunt, uncle, or sibling. Charlotte Nazar of Harrisburg came to the luncheon with her grandparents, David and Mary Lambert. Mary earned a biology degree from Pitt in 1969 and David earned a degree in civil engineering in 1970.
But the Legacy does not start there. David’s uncle Fred—Charlotte’s great-great-uncle—earned his degree from Pitt in the early 50s using the GI Bill.
Two of David and Mary’s children went to Pitt including Lisa Nazar (A&S ’92, EDUC ’93G), who is Charlotte’s mother.
“Lisa would have loved to be here, but she had to go back to work after dropping off Charlotte on Monday,” Mary said.
Just to strengthen the family legacy at Pitt, Charlotte’s sister Amelia is a junior on the Pittsburgh campus studying engineering.
Charlotte explained, “I was looking at pharmacy schools and Pitt is one of the top ranked pharmacy schools in the nation. Since so many people in my family went or go here, I wasn’t sure I wanted to come to Pitt.” Then that DNA kicked in. “I stepped on campus and literally said ‘I don’t want to leave.’ I knew I wanted to be here.”
Mary quips that Charlotte was potty trained at Heinz Field during a Pitt game, a claim Charlotte does not deny but might not share so readily with her fellow Towers B residents. And, by the way, her grandfather David lived in Towers B.
“That’s when it was new,” he added.
Some of the dorms have remained the same—with a few upgrades over the years—but much has changed as well. Legacy Luncheon attendee Jeffrey Madden (A&S ’92) says he saw the change as soon as he stepped back on campus.
“I came to admitted student day with my son Nathaniel and I could not believe the difference from when I went here,” said Jeffrey. “There is just so much more available to him than when I was a student. The opportunities are amazing. He just can’t go wrong here.”
Nathaniel, who is from Bridgeport, West Virginia, is an urban studies major.
There are more than 318,000 living Pitt alumni representing every continent with the exception of Antarctica. This year, across all five Pitt campuses, there are 8,500 new students including graduate and transfer students; or as the PAA likes to call them, future alumni.
The Pitt Alumni Association, along with PAA clubs and councils, regularly hold events exclusively for alumni. To learn more at our events calendar or by contacting us at 1-800-ALU-PITT.