ICYMI: Summer Edition


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The Cathedral of Learning from Schenley Plaza.

By Allison Radziwon, Assistant News Editor

With a hectic summer focused on abortion access and gun control measures, it’s easy to fall out of the loop with what’s been happening on campus. Here’s a guide to the biggest news stories at Pitt from the summer.

Pitt state appropriations battle 

Over the summer, Pitt was at the forefront of a battle concerning its appropriation bill from the state, which it uses to fund in-state tuition discounts. 

House Republicans attempted to block Pitt’s funding unless it stopped conducting fetal tissue research. The $151 million appropriation eventually passed the House under a separate bill, and the governor signed it into law.

Pitt then raised tuition, which Republican politicians throughout the state criticized

Updates to Walnut Capital’s Oakland Crossings’ project

Representatives from Walnut Capital, a Shadyside private developer, discussed amendments with residents to its Oakland Crossings project — a plan to rezone parts of South and Central Oakland, paving the way for a grocery store, housing, retail spaces and parking.

Walnut Capital and Strada, a building design firm, presented its plans for Parcel “A” in July. The proposed project at 3401 Blvd of the Allies includes a grocery store, retail spaces, a 438-space enclosed parking garage and 426 apartment units.

The updated project plans will be presented to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission at an upcoming meeting.

New deans of Pitt schools 

Pitt named Amy Seybert as the new dean of the School of Pharmacy in June, who worked as chair of the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics for 12 years. She replaced Patricia Kroboth, who served as dean for 20 years. 

Eugene “Gene” Anderson was also named the new dean of the Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration in May, replacing Arjang Assad. Anderson served as dean of Syracuse University’s School of Management since 2017. 

On-campus construction

The first and second floor of Hillman Library will be closed until January for renovations. The final phase of renovations at Hillman, which include a third-floor patio and media rooms, will then start in late January. 

Pitt is also building a new student health and wellness center at 3921 O’Hara St. It will include fitness rooms, a pool, sky gyms and climbing walls. Full time students will pay an additional $50 this fall to hire new staff for the center. Pitt will not add facility fees — another $50 per term — to tuition bills to fund the project until the wellness center opens, according to vice provost of student affairs Kenyon Bonner. 

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 29. 

The Assembly opens 

The Assembly, Pitt and UPMC’s new health research center that will focus on cancer biology and immunology research, opened in May. 

The Assembly is located in the former Ford Motor Company Assembly plant, which originally assembled the Ford Model T. Pitt worked with Wexford Science & Technology on the project. 

Creation of Pitt BioForge BioManufacturing Center

Pitt entered a 30-year partnership on Thursday with ElevateBio, a biotechnology company, to accelerate development of cell and gene therapies. The partnership includes creating a new research facility at Hazelwood Green that is expected to generate more than 170 permanent full-time jobs. 

Pitt, along with the Richard King Mellon Foundation, announced a $100 million gift last year to help fund a bioresearch and development facility at Hazelwood Green.