Nordenberg, Cohon to Receive Hillman Lifetime Public Service Award

Issue Date: 
March 24, 2014

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg and Carnegie Mellon University President Emeritus Jared L. Cohon will be honored April 8 with the Elsie Hilliard Hillman Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Service.

The award was created in 2012 by Pitt’s Institute of Politics to recognize Hillman’s lifetime of public service to the Pittsburgh community and beyond. Hillman, a civic and political leader who has worked on issues such as civil rights, employment, and women’s rights in the Pittsburgh region and elsewhere, was the first recipient of the award.

The two departing university leaders—Nordenberg is set to step down August 1 and Cohon stepped down as president in 2013—were selected for their stellar record of cooperation and joint achievement. “Through their collaborative leadership style, Nordenberg and Cohon have demonstrated how developing strategic partnerships can improve governments, philanthropies, and public and private enterprises, creating opportunities for regional prosperity to be enjoyed by all,” said Terry Miller, director of the Institute of Politics.

The award, which will be presented at a private ceremony at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, is given to honorees whose leadership and achievements have advanced the quality of life enjoyed by citizens of Western Pennsylvania. It is also intended to create a lasting tribute to Hillman for her substantial contributions to the Pittsburgh community. Through the award, the Institute of Politics also hopes to set a standard for service by encouraging a sustained commitment to public and civic engagement, inspiring others to make service a central part of their lives.

Nordenberg became the 17th chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh in 1996 and will step down from that office in the summer of 2014. He came to Pitt in 1977 as a faculty member in the School of Law and went on to serve as the school’s dean and as interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. Under his leadership, the University has achieved new levels of quality and impact on virtually every front. Undergraduate applications and academic credentials of enrolled students have soared, faculty and students regularly receive the highest forms of national and international recognition, Pitt now ranks among the top 10 U.S. universities in federal science and engineering research and development support, and the University completed a record-breaking $2 billion capital campaign.

Cohon served with distinction as the eighth President of Carnegie Mellon University from 1997 to 2013. He greatly expanded Carnegie Mellon degree programs offered around the world; led a successful $1 billion fundraising campaign; and built up the university’s research and teaching resources in such areas as life sciences, energy, media design, entrepreneurship, and environmental education. Cohon and Nordenberg worked together to advance innovation and economic growth in the region. An expert in urban water systems, Cohon is resuming teaching, writing, and research as a member of Carnegie Mellon’s Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty.

The Institute of Politics at the University of Pittsburgh delivers timely information about a wide variety of issues affecting the Southwestern Pennsylvania region to both public and private decision makers, and the public that they serve. The institute provides a neutral and off-the-record forum where knowledge and diverse viewpoints are discussed, digested, enriched, and applied to the goals of promoting improved quality of life, government efficiency, and economic vitality in the region.