$3M Gift Creates Bailey Deanship in Arts and Sciences

Issue Date: 
November 5, 2007

N. John Cooper is inaugural holder

The University of Pittsburgh has received $3 million from Bettye and Ralph Bailey to establish the Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Deanship in the School of Arts and Sciences. This gift has established an endowment that will be used by the dean as a discretionary fund to support the development and enhancement of programs throughout the School of Arts and Sciences. N. John Cooper, dean of Arts and Sciences since 1998, will be the inaugural holder of the Bailey Deanship.

“We are immensely grateful to Bettye and Ralph Bailey for making this historic gift, which will have a meaningful, measurable impact on the quality of our programs,” Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said. “I take special pleasure in knowing that this named endowment has created an ongoing link between the Baileys and Pitt.”

The School of Arts and Sciences—with its world-class faculty and acclaimed programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences—constitutes the liberal arts core of the University of Pittsburgh and has served as an academic launching pad for some of Pitt’s most celebrated alumni, from Academy Award-winning film legend Gene Kelly and multiple Grammy award-winning music director of the New York Philharmonic Lorin Maazel to Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon, physiology or medicine Nobel Laureate Paul Lauterbur, and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Wangari Muta Maathai.

“I extend my deepest appreciation to the Baileys for their outstanding leadership gift to the School of Arts and Sciences,” Cooper said. “Their understanding and support of the transformational power of higher education is apparent through this generous contribution, and their endowment will help us meet our aspirations for the programs we offer to students in Arts and Sciences and the College of General Studies.”

Bettye Bailey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Pitt’s College of General Studies in 1984. She is a former member of the Wilmington College Board of Trustees and is a dedicated volunteer to the University of Pittsburgh.

Ralph Bailey is a graduate of Purdue University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He is a retired chair and CEO of Conoco, Inc. He also served as chair and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Consolidation Coal Company (now Consol Energy) and vice chair of Dupont. Currently, he serves as chair of Fuel Tech, Inc., and American Bailey Corporation.

In addition to making their endowed deanship gift, the Baileys also established the Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Scholarship Fund in Pitt’s College of General Studies in 2005 to provide tuition support for part-time, nontraditional students.

Dean of Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences since 1998, Cooper joined Pitt’s faculty as a professor of chemistry in 1986 and served as chair of Pitt’s Department of Chemistry from 1989 to 1994. In 2006, he also was named dean of Pitt’s College of General Studies. Cooper earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry at Oxford University, where he was a Scholar of Balliol. From 1976 to 1986 he was a research fellow and faculty member at Harvard University, where he was appointed Loeb Associate Professor of Natural Sciences in 1984. His research is in synthetic and mechanistic organometallic chemistry, and he has published more than 80 refereed articles in the major international journals in his field. Academic honors that he has received include appointment as a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the award of the 1986 Corday-Morgan Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This gift to the School of Arts and Sciences is part of the University of Pittsburgh’s $2 billion Building Our Future Together capital campaign, the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of the University and Southwestern Pennsylvania. To date, the campaign has raised more than $1.1 billion in support of the University.