I graduated from Ohio University in 1989 and I am proud to call it my alma mater. However, my emotional college ties belong to the University of Pittburgh. Why
My attachment to Pitt and it has less to do with being a fan and more to do with a relationship that began from the first day I arrived in town in 1995 – a close relationship which now that I work in news is much more like being part of a family.
WTAE has always had a strong relationship with Pitt, from carrying games to producing the football coach’s show. Heck, our own Bill Hillgrove is the Voice of the Panthers. As the years progressed, I spent more time with the athletic department staff and got to know them intimately, eventually being asked the emcee various events on campus involving athletics and beyond. Once I even serving as the host of a vigil in Oakland for the victims in the Virginia Tech massacre.
Recently, that relationship continued when I was asked to host the school’s first-ever alumni BBQ. The idea was to invite Pitt alumni to enjoy an evening of food, fun and fireworks. In between, the assembled alumni sat in the stands and hear from the Chancellor and coaches of the mens and womens basketball teams as well as the football teams about what was new at the University and what was exciting on the horizon. It was done in a talk show format. Below are some pics from last Friday’s event at Heinz Field:
Speaking with womens coach Agnus Berenato with threatening skies above. Hopefully not a prelude to the year ahead. She’s coming off the school’s first trip to the Sweet 16
Interviewing football coach Dave Wannstedt. He’s bubbling with optimism after Pitt pulled off last season’s stunning upset of then top-ranked West Virginia
Sharing the stage and screen with mens basketball coach Jamie Dixon. We used the Jumbotron as a visual aid as Jamie described the prospects for his top-10 ranked team.
I want to thank the folks at Pitt for allowing me to part of what they will be an annual event. I kind of felt like David Letterman conducting those interviews with that star-studded lineup of guests.
While I will always be proud to be a Ohio University Bobcat, it’s Pitt that has become my “other” alma mater.