U. S. Steel and University Strengthen Partnership

Issue Date: 
January 7, 2008

Steel Foundation awards Pitt $605,000 in grants, including $500,000 for endowed scholarships

The United States Steel Foundation has awarded the University of Pittsburgh grants totaling $605,000 to support a number of student-based initiatives.

The major portion of these funds—$500,000—will be used to establish five new endowed scholarships: two students each from Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering and College of Business Administration and one student majoring either in information technology in the School of Information Sciences or computer science in the School of Arts and Sciences. Each recipient will earn the distinction of being a U. S. Steel Scholar.

In addition, the foundation will provide $100,000 to update the teaching laboratory used for undergraduate classes that teach measurement and instrumentation in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science within the Swanson School of Engineering. The improvements are part of the ongoing building and renovation program at Benedum Hall, the academic and administrative home of the Swanson School.

Finally, the Roberto Clemente Minority Business Association will receive $5,000 from the foundation. The association provides academic support, professional development programs, and volunteer and social activities for underrepresented undergraduate students in Pitt’s College of Business Administration.

“One of the cornerstones of Pitt’s $2 billion Building Our Future Together campaign is an initiative to increase significantly the number of endowed student scholarships throughout the University while providing the best possible learning environment for our students,” said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. “This grant is, therefore, an especially welcome gift for which we are extremely appreciative.”

Susan Suver, U. S. Steel’s vice president of human resources, said “This grant is a reaffirmation of the importance of our commitment to growing bright, motivated people for the workforce of the future.”

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, U. S. Steel is the largest fully integrated steel producer in North America. The company’s long relationship with Pitt dates back to 1926, when U. S. Steel donated 7,142 tons of steel used in the construction of the Cathedral of Learning. The gift, conservatively valued at $250,000 in 1926, was one of the first recorded examples of corporate philanthropic support of higher education.

Since then, U. S. Steel has supported Pitt in numerous ways, including the establishment of the U. S. Steel Dean’s Chair in the Swanson School of Engineering and the David Roderick Chair in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. The corporation supports research in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Swanson School of Engineering, including a close association with Pitt’s Basic Metals Processing Research Institute in the Swanson School.

Employees and executive leaders from the company have served in numerous volunteer roles at the University, including leadership positions on Pitt’s Board of Trustees. Until June 2007, for instance, Thomas J. Usher, U. S. Steel’s former chief executive officer, was chair of Pitt’s $2 billion capital campaign. In addition, U. S. Steel provides Pitt students with co-op and internship opportunities through its Student Employment Program.