University of Pittsburgh

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Pitt Chat

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A conversation with Lindsay Hilton Retchless (UPB ’98), the director of alumni relations for the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. At UPB, she majored in business management. While pursuing her degree, Retchless was busy academically and socially: She joined a sorority, was a cheerleader for the basketball team, served as a resident advisor, and worked a few summers as a freshman orientation counselor. Even then, she recalls, UPB was a tight-knit campus, where students, teachers, and staff joined together for beneficial outcomes. Her current work with the alumni association and as advisor to the undergraduate Blue and Gold Society also keep her connected to her alma mater, where three of her nieces have enrolled as well.

Interview by Dan Majors

What I know for sure  . . . Be yourself. I’ve never scored any points or accomplished anything great by trying to be anyone different.  When I look in the mirror at the end of the day, I want to know the person looking back at me, and I want to really like her a lot.  I’m glad to say that I do!

Three things that best describe me . . . I was stumped about this, so I asked my three closest friends to each provide one word, and here’s what they came up with:  Vivacious. Passionate. Loyal. With the exception of loyal, I almost sound like a great perfume.

I wish I’d kept . . . more photos from my college days. They always had me hanging with friends and having fun. And I had big hair.

I still have . . . T-shirts from Greek Week sorority functions and student activities, like Air Band. The funny thing is that I still wear them. They’re good conversation pieces at the gym, and they’re still in good shape. They’ve held up really well, and I’m sentimentally attached to them.

The most important thing about being a good alumni director . . . is listening. I want to know what our alumni interests and needs are, and I need to listen to everyone at the University, so I can work toward our mission and work for our students.

Most people think my job . . . is all about planning parties. Even my grandmother. I try to dissuade them of that, but I do put together a lot of social events. It’s for a good reason—where do you think all that listening is going on?

In school, my favorite Saturday morning activity . . . was probably sleeping in. But once I woke up, I always enjoyed looking out the window and watching the fog lifting off the hillside. Our campus is so beautiful.

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