Issue Date: 
May 11, 2015

April sunshine streamed into Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s office recently when a National Weather Service representative visited, declaring the University to be a StormReady institution. The distinction means that Pitt has demonstrated its commitment to the safety of its students, staff, and faculty in the event of severe weather. “Pitt administrators spent time and effort to attain this recognition,” said Fred McMullen, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service. University officials participated in a SKYWARN session to train severe-weather spotters and have also developed a hazardous weather plan, he added. From left, McMullen, and Pitt officials Chris Casamento, regional health and safety coordinator, Department of Environmental Health and Safety; Ted Fritz, associate vice chancellor, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management; Jay Frerotte, director of Environmental Health and Safety; and Chancellor Gallagher.

Charles F. Bolden Jr., Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), delivered the keynote address during Pitt’s April 26 commencement ceremony in the Petersen Events Center. Bolden, a Hall of Fame astronaut who commanded and piloted the space shuttle, told the graduates:  “Our planet has a very big ‘help wanted’ sign on it—trust me on this, you can see it from space (not really)—and we’re counting on your generation. We’re counting on you to cure the previously incurable ... to tackle big challenges like climate change ... to teach us to live as one people on this beautiful planet.”