Arts and Sciences Hits $100M Fundraising Milestone

Issue Date: 
January 7, 2008

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Arts and Sciences—the largest of the University’s 16 schools and colleges—has reached the $100 million fundraising milestone within the University’s $2 billion Building Our Future Together capital campaign, the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of the University and of Western Pennsylvania.

A commitment by Arts and Sciences alumnus Ralph E. Yingst (FAS ’64) and his wife, Helen, to establish the Ralph E. and Helen Yingst Scholarship Fund in the Department of Chemistry was the contribution that enabled the school to reach this historic mark in its fundraising efforts. Youngstown State University Professor Emeritus Ralph Yingst, who received his PhD in chemistry from Pitt, noted the “great collegial atmosphere in the chemistry department” he experienced as a Pitt student. He also said that he wished to “honor Dr. Bodie Douglas and other chemistry professors in the early 1960s for their enthusiasm, encouragement, and compassion in supporting my graduate studies and research.” The Yingsts are longtime donors to the school and the University.

cooper.jpgAccording to N. John Cooper (shown at right), the Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, the voluntary contributions of friends, alumni, faculty, and staff—as well as gifts and grants from corporations and foundations—have enabled the school’s leadership to invest in key strategic priorities.

Said Cooper, “The generosity of our community of donors provides us with the resources we need to develop the excellence of our graduate and undergraduate programs in competition with the best arts and sciences schools in the nation, support the leading-edge research and scholarship of our faculty, and attract and retain the highest-quality students.”

Since the beginning of the campaign in 1997, Arts and Sciences has received gifts that have established more than 200 endowed funds, including nine chairs, 11 fellowships, 81 scholarships and student resource funds, and 25 awards. This fall, Arts and Sciences celebrated its largest monetary gift from an individual donor—$3 million from Bettye and Ralph Bailey to establish the Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Deanship in the school. 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.

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. It has served as an academic launching pad for some of Pitt’s most celebrated alumni, from Academy Award-honored 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.

To date, Pitt’s Building Our Future Together capital campaign has raised $1.19 billion in support of the University. The campaign, whose initial $500 million goal was doubled by Pitt’s Board of Trustees to $1 billion in 2002, was doubled again in June 2006 to $2 billion.