Pitt Emeritus Trustee Helen Faison Honored at Governor’s Residence

Issue Date: 
March 2, 2009
Helen FaisonHelen Faison

Pitt emeritus trustee Helen Faison is one of six African American Pennsylvanians who were honored in Harrisburg Feb. 25 for performing work that has inspired others. The honorees attended a luncheon hosted by Gov. Edward G. Rendell and First Lady Marjorie O. Rendell, a federal appeals judge at the Governor’s Residence.

“These are all individuals whose life’s work inspires people to serve a cause greater than their own self-interest,” Rendell said in a statement.

Fasion was a trailblazing educator and a recipient of three academic degrees from Pitt (EDUC ’46, ’ 55G, ’75G). Hired in 1950 to teach at the Hill District’s Fifth Avenue High School, Faison became the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ first African American high school guidance counselor, first African American and first female high school principal, and, as interim superintendent, the first African American to lead the school district. She serves on the Pitt Board of Trustees and is director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, based at Carlow University.

In 2006, Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg announced the creation of the Helen S. Fasion Chair in Urban Education, the first fully endowed chair in the School of Education’s history.