Pitt facts to distract you during your pointless syllabus week classes
Because we know you aren’t paying attention
You might be feeling infuriated that your break is officially over and it's back to the grind. Even better, its 20-something degrees out and you still have to trudge to class. Here are eight interesting reasons that might remind you why you love being a Panther.
We haven't always been called the University of Pittsburgh
When founded, Pitt was named the Pittsburgh Academy on February 28th, 1787. In 1819, it changed to the Western University of Pennsylvania as the school was intended to be a sister school to UPenn in Philly. (Thank Roc himself that didn't follow through…nerds). This name stuck for about 90 years, when it changed to the University of Pittsburgh in 1908.
Imagine being referred by one name your entire life, only to have it switched, and then switched again…damn, the amount of DMV trips you'd have to take.
If it were up to me, I'd name the school, "Shittumuch," which is probably a foreign word.
Person One: "So where do you go to school."
Person Two: "I go to Shittumuch."
Person One Thinking To Self: Did he just say he goes to shit too much?
Pitt is older than… almost everything
Some estimate that the school started as far back as 1770, but the school's official start is when Hugh Henry Breckenridge got the official charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in February of 1787.
According to affordableschools.net, it is the 21st oldest school in the nation (ranked by the official established or chartered date).
It is the oldest, continuously-chartered school West of the Allegheny Mountains. AKA when people slowly started migrating west, really smart people said, "hey, once we pass the mountains, we should create an amazing university that has absolutely no competition for 'best school in Pennsylvania.'"
Our founder was an awesome dude
Pitt's founder, Hugh Henry Breckenridge, was like all things Pitt: incredibly smart, incredibly successful, and incredibly incredible. Breckenridge was born in Scotland, but emigrated to New York when he was five.
He was a Chaplain for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. After becoming a lawyer in Maryland, he believed he would thrive more elsewhere. And so, he left.
Breckenridge gallivanted into the unknown and dangerous frontier, travelling 300 miles, eventually passing the Appalachians.
In 1781, he happened upon the small town filled with mostly scottish and scots-irish: was Pittsburgh in 1781, choosing to lend his services to the residency. Breckenridge wrote that his goal was to, "advance the country and thereby myself."
Breckenridge has a talent for making organizations last. Pitt's Founding Father also created the Pittsburgh Gazzette in 1786, now known as The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette–a year before founding the Pittsburgh Academy.
Breckenridge went on to be a member,of the state assembly, Supreme Court (of PA) Justice, tried to mediate the Whiskey Rebellion, was integral to the formation of Allegheny County, and wrote one of the most important American novels about the western frontier, Modern Chivalry.
Did you expect a loser to be the founder of this great school?
Abe Lincoln's cabin isn't really Abe Lincoln's cabin
The super tiny log cabin that sits on Forbes by the Cathedral of Learning that sticks out like a giant mole on otherwise perfect skin. Quick story: when I was a freshman, an older student told me Abraham Lincoln grew up there. Being an absolute halfwit, I believed him.
The cabin's real purpose is to symbolize Pitt's "origins as a frontier academy of higher learning." It portrays the schoolhouse that once was the University of Pittsburgh. The log cabin was built around the 1820-30's, but was refurbished back in 1987 for Pitt's 200th birthday.
School Trustee Charles Fagan III (dope name) actually bought and donated the lil' cabin to Pitt. by Pitt Trustee Charles Fagan III (dope name). He did this in honor of his wife, Anne Ebbert Fagan.
We are well endowed
Is it just me or is the school always complaining about money? Well, the school has an "annual operating budget of approximately $2 billion, which includes nearly $900 million in research and development expenditures."
Two. Billion. Dollars. Every. Year. And. We. Cannot. Afford. Soft. Toilet. Paper.
In any case, excluding our toiletries, our big budget adds to the value of the education we get, and allows Pitt to make valuable contributions to the city, country, and planet (just ask Jonas Salk…you don't see anymore world leaders shimmying on up to the podium anymore ).
In 2016, Pitt's total endowment tallied to $3.53 billion…we're well-endowed.
The School was 'Blue-Bombed'
Three Pitt students walk into Peter's in April, 2012–trying to drink away their worries about finals:
The first student says, "I am going to bomb my econ final presentation."
The second student says, "I understand what you mean. I am going to bomb my biology final."
The third student says, "you're preaching to the choir. I am going to bomb the Chevron Building."
Really gives a whole new meaning to Peter's specialty 'Panther Bombs.'
Don't tell anyone, but the secret blue liquor that Peter's puts in their drink is a mixture of vodka and sulfuric acid.
February 13th to April 21st, 2012, Pitt dealt with a high number of bomb threats.
If you are like me, you read 'high number of bomb threats' and think, "Oh, a high number of bomb threats… what's that, like, five threats?"
No, idiot. There were approximately 160 bomb threats…now THAT is a high number of bomb threats.
Early bomb threats were written on the bathroom stalls in Chevron and Cathy. This transgressed into email threats, delivered using a program called "Mixmaster" that not only made the identity email-sender anonymous. The program also jumbled the route of the emails, so that its origins were "near impossible to determine."
Pitt underwent 136 building evacuations, tightened security, required Pitt ID's for access to most school buildings, prohibited backpacks from certain locations, and even offered rewards of up to $50,000 smackers for relative information
On April 20th, 2012, the horrifying threatener emailed the school a compromise, clearly terrified of the consequences of his or her terror. The email proposed that if Pitt revoked the reward, the email-threats would permanently end. Pitt rescinded the reward the next day, ending the fiasco. Though no one was ever charged, Adam Busby, from Dublin, Ireland, was indicted in August of that year as he was believed to have some sort of connection to the emails.
(Blue-Bombed…Blue-Balls… get it? You're right that sucked.)
We are ~elite~
2018 U.S. World and News Report — 26th best public school, 68th overall.
Princeton Review –Named Pitt one of its "Best Value Colleges."
2017 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education –Ranked Pitt the #1 Public University in the Northeast, and 75th of all universities (public and private)
Newsweek –ranked Pitt 37th of their Top 100 Global Universities
2016 Center for World University Rankings — Ranked 48th in the world, and 31st in the U.S.
There's a lot more impressive rankings, but I think you are picking up what I'm putting down. Besides, piling on about your own success would be tacky.
We have been acknowledged for our overall campus attitudes! In 2010, The Princeton Review ranked us as the 8th Happiest campus and the 11th of the Top 20 Schools with the best quality of life.
(Princeton Review doesn't have a 'worst quality of life' column, but in their 'Least Happy Students' ranking, the least happy, non-military, school is Xavier University of Louisiana sitting at #2 least happy overall. Xavier of Louisiana, what the hell are you doing to those poor students?)
Remember, though you might hate this school with all your heart during finals week, there are many reasons to still love Dear Old Pittsburgh. Pitt's been through some sh*t too.
Remember why you're here: to get good grades and become an expert or trained in a field.( *CLICHE ALERT*) Pitt is there to provide the tools for success, helping you help yourself. And while every other person at every other school is going through the same thing, take a moment to step back and think of all the reasons you love this place and chose it when you were seventeen.
I mean what's the big deal? Why hate/stress over finals? It's only the rest of your life at stake, right?