Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
March 23, 2009

Pitt’s University Club to Hold Open Houses for Faculty, Staff

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Club will offer Pitt faculty and staff a sneak preview of the club’s newly renovated facilities through a series of open house tours. The time and dates of the tours, which will showcase the publicly accessible banquet and conference centers, as well as the members-only faculty and staff club, follow:

Wednesday, March 25, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.;

Friday, March 27, noon- 4 p.m.; and

Monday, March 30, 3-6 p.m.

In addition to more than 18,000 square feet of conference and banquet space, the club will also offer such amenities as first-class dining facilities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a College Room lounge, a library with wireless Internet, and special events on the Rooftop Terrace, which provides a view of Oakland.

The University Club, located in a historic building at 123 University Place that was designed by architect Henry Hornbostel, originally opened as a private club in 1923. Acquired by Pitt in 2005, the club has undergone $20 million in renovations in preparation for its grand reopening April 1.

—Anthony M. Moore

GSPIA to Honor Gen. Roscoe Robinson Jr.

Gen. Roscoe Robinson Jr.Gen. Roscoe Robinson Jr.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) will recognize the achievements of the late General Roscoe Robinson Jr. (1928-93), a Pitt alumnus and the first African American four-star general in the U.S. Army, with the dedication of a classroom in his honor and the inaugural Gen. Roscoe Robinson Jr. Lecture on Public Service and Diversity. The event, which will be held at 1:30 p.m. March 27 in 3800 Posvar Hall, is free and open to the public.

During the dedication, GSPIA Dean John T. S. Keeler will comment on Robinson’s impact on diversity in public service and the U.S. military, as well as GSPIA’s efforts to advance discussion and awareness of diversity in public service. Immediately following the dedication of 3800 Posvar Hall, Major General Edward B. Atkeson, a West Point classmate and personal friend of Robinson’s, will deliver the inaugural lecture. Atkeson (U.S. Army, Retired) is a senior fellow at the Institute of Land Warfare, Association of the U.S. Army, and an ARMY Magazine contributing editor. A brief question-and-answer session will follow Atkeson’s lecture.

Robinson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1951 and thereafter earned the Bronze Star Medal for his service as a rifle company commander in the Korean War. He attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1963 and earned his MPIA degree at Pitt in 1964.

—Amanda Leff

Pitt Dance Ensemble to Perform in “Disengaged”

The University of Pittsburgh Dance Ensemble will present “Disengaged”—a formal dance concert with choreography by students and professional guests featuring ballet, jazz, tap, and modern styles of dance—at 8:15 p.m. March 26, 27, and 28 in the Trees Hall Dance Studio.

This year’s guest choreographers include Michelle Hall Dawson, a former dancer with the Dance Alloy Theater in Pittsburgh, and Greer Reed-Jones, the education director for the Dance Alloy Theater.

Dawson’s piece, titled “In the Station,” is set to Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata and features seven of the ensemble’s dancers. According to Dawson, “In the Station” depicts “the passing of love and time and the eternity of waiting, knowing that personal loss and grief can arrive in some unexpected ways.” This work also was performed earlier this month at the American College Dance Festival at Pennsylvania State University.

In a strikingly different dance style, Reed-Jones’ piece for the ensemble, titled “Hot Jambalaya,” showcases 18 ensemble members. The work celebrates the spirit of New Orleans and the strength of that community following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Pitt student choreographers for “Disengaged” include Lauren Brune, who choreographed a ballet; Greg McCummings, who choreographed a hip-hop piece; and Christiana Thurton, Leah Dowdy, Kelli Gabriel, Liz Chebra, Lauren MacLaughlin, and Kaitlin Weaver, who choreographed modern dance works.  Kristin Haughney’s tap dance, “Unified Discordance,” will feature 15 students dancing to the music of Janet Jackson.

General seating tickets for “Disengaged” are $6 for the public and $3 for students and may be purchased at the door. For more information, contact Susan Gillis-Kruman at 412-648-8262 or

—Patricia Lomando White

Cell Biologist Alan Hall to Launch Medical School Lecture Series

Alan Hall, chair of the Cell Biology Program in New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will be the first speaker in the 2009 Senior Vice Chancellor’s Laureate Lecture Series. The yearlong series in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine spotlights some of the top biomedical researchers in their fields. Hall will speak at noon on Thursday, March 26, in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Scaife Hall, Auditorium 6. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Hall’s lecture will deal with the family of proteins known as Rho GTPases that constitutes a primary focus of his research. By exploring how these proteins regulate cell migration and tissue organization and the biochemical pathways through which they act, Hall’s work has significantly advanced the understanding of the metastatic process by which cancer cells migrate throughout the body.

Before joining Memorial Sloan-Kettering, where he holds an Alfred P. Sloan Chair, Hall served in the Institute for Cancer Research and in University College in London. He earned his doctorate in chemistry at Harvard University and is a graduate of the University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the U.K.’s Royal Society.

Arthur S. Levine is the senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at Pitt.

—Kristin Beaver