Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
November 30, 2009

Nationality Rooms Holiday Open House Set for Dec. 6

The University of Pittsburgh will host the annual Nationality Rooms Holiday Open House, featuring performances by area folk singers and dancers, from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Cathedral of Learning Commons Room.

Admission is free; ethnic foods and crafts will be available for purchase.

Each year, the 27 rooms that encircle the Cathedral of Learning’s Commons Room are trimmed to reflect their ethnic heritages, including such decorations as Lithuanian geometric straw ornaments, Polish paper cutouts, German Advent wreaths, a French crèche, and a hand-carved Austrian manger scene. For the open house, guides in national dress will adapt their daily presentations to include descriptions of holiday traditions celebrated throughout the world.

Participants and sponsors are Pitt’s African Heritage, Austrian, Chinese, Czechoslovakian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Indian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Swedish, Syria-Lebanon, Ukrainian, Yugoslavian, Latin American, Philippine, Swiss, Thai, Turkish, and Welsh groups, along with Quo Vadis, the Women’s International Club, the University of Pittsburgh’s Women’s Association, the Bobbin Lace Makers, and the Pittsburgh Folk Festival.

The holiday tours run through Jan. 15—except for Nov. 26, Dec. 24, 25, 26, and Jan. 1. Taped tours are available without reservations, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. On Nov. 27 and from Dec. 27-31, the rooms are open for guided tours beginning at 10 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. In all cases, the last tour begins at 2:30 p.m.

The Nationality Classrooms are gifts to the University from Pittsburgh’s ethnic groups. Built between 1938 and 2008, the rooms are designed in an architectural style appropriate to the country for which it is named.

For more information about the Open House, contact the Nationality Rooms Programs office at 412-624-6000 or visit

—Kristin Shearer

Donations of New Hat-and-Glove Sets Needed for Pitt Annual Christmas Dinner

Pitt’s Volunteer Pool and the Salvation Army are collecting new hat-and-glove sets to distribute to adults and children during the 4th Annual Salvation Army Christmas Dinner on Dec. 25. Invited guests include the homeless, the needy, and foreign students who may not have an invitation for a Christmas meal. The dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Litchfield Towers’ Marketplace cafeteria, lower level.

Each guest will receive a gift bag that will include, among other items, a hat-and-glove set. Pitt’s Volunteer Pool is seeking donations of the sets for male and female children and adults, which can be dropped off at 710 Alumni Hall until Monday, Dec. 14.

Additional information is available by contacting Gwen Watkins, community activities coordinator for Pitt’s Office of Community and Governmental Relations, 412-624-7702.