Editorial: The actual William Pitt the WPU should be named after


Via Daderot | Wikimedia Commons

William Bradley Pitt deserves to have a building named after him.

The William Pitt Union sits at the heart of this University, home to various student organizations that are an important part of life on campus. The Union is named after William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham — but there’s another William Pitt, a William Bradley Pitt, who really deserves the honor of having this important building named after him. We can’t count the ways Brad Pitt has shaped this world, but we can count the reasons we can show Brad Pitt at least a fraction of the love he deserves. Here are our top five reasons William Bradley Pitt should be the real William Pitt behind the William Pitt Union.

1. Brad Pitt deserves representation, too

William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham, was a member of the British cabinet during the 18th century. He lent his name to not only our student union, but also Chatham University, the City of Pittsburgh and Pittston Township. And his geographic range doesn’t stop with Pennsylvania — a slew of cities, counties and islands across the United States, Canada, Ecuador and New Zealand also bear his name. Every day, Brad Pitt has to live with all of these places as a reminder that he wasn’t the first William Pitt to make a splash on the world stage. He really needs this win. 

2. Brad Pitt has an Obama connection

Given the events of the last two years, a lot of us have been missing former President Barack Obama. We might feel a little better about our current political climate, however, if we named our student union after a man who’s actually met Obama. That’s right, Brad Pitt visited the White House in 2009 to discuss his charity, the Make it Right Foundation, which built safe and affordable housing in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — something William Pitt certainly never did. But it turns out, not only has Brad Pitt met Obama, he’s also Obama’s ninth cousin. Could Brad Pitt get his cousin to pay Pitt students a visit? We won’t know until we rename the Union.

3. Brad Pitt: Sexiest Man Alive

Brad Pitt was chosen as the Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine not once, but twice, in 1995 and 2000. He was the first man to be selected twice for the coveted title. William Pitt wasn’t even chosen once. In fact, it’s unclear if he was ever in the running. Enough said.

4. Brad Pitt is a charitable man

Brad Pitt joined the ONE Campaign in 2004 to fight alongside Bono against poverty and preventable diseases in poor countries, mostly in Africa. He’s used his celebrity status to promote a variety of other charities, like Doctors Without Borders and Global Green USA. Brad Pitt and ex-wife Angelina Jolie donated more than $8 million to charities in 2006 alone. William Pitt might have done charity work, but he definitely didn’t do it with Bono. And if it’s not with Bono, it doesn’t really count.

5. Brad Pitt was almost a journalist

Brad Pitt studied journalism at the University of Missouri. In his last semester, with only two credits left to complete, he dropped out of college and went to Los Angeles to become an actor. The William Pitt Union is home to The Pitt News office, and since Brad Pitt was almost a journalist, it seems only fitting that he become the building’s namesake.