University of Pittsburgh

alumni hall


A conversation with Amy Niceswanger (A&S ’98, KGSB ’03), assistant athletic director for development at the University of Pittsburgh and a Life Member of the alumni association

Written by Dan Majors

Amy Niceswanger

Amy Niceswanger

A native of South Park, Pa., she grew up rooting for Pitt. She also spent a lot of time dancing, starting lessons at age 3. Those steps led her to the Pitt Dance Team and eventually to her position with the University of Pittsburgh’s athletics department. Today, one of her primary tasks is coordinating fundraising efforts for student-athlete scholarships. She still follows all Panthers athletics, including the dance team. “There is a dance movement that the team does that is still called ‘Amy,’” she says proudly. “It’s a lot of hip-shaking and smiling. They don’t do it too often, but I’ve seen it.”

My first residence on campus … was on the sixth floor of Holland Hall. We had a corner room, so we had six windows. We’d yell down at the boys. It was fun. To this day, my roommate and I are very good friends.

I still have … my pom-poms, or my “gold shakers,” from the Pitt Dance Team. By the end of the school year, my roommate and I called our pom-poms “The Rat,” because they shed throughout the season. By March, there was hardly any gold to “shake.” They are tucked away in my little memory chest, only to be taken out when my friends from the dance team come back to town (or for this PittChat page!).

I didn’t have a computer at school, so … I would be in the computer lab in Hillman Library. I remember pressing “print” and not knowing on what floor the pieces of paper would come out, or how long it would take.

My favorite spot in Oakland is … Oakland Avenue, where I had an apartment for three years. I love the businesses there. My favorite eating spots were one block away.

The song that always reminds me of Pitt … is “Dancing Queen” by Abba.

My first meal in Oakland was … pizza at the “O” at 2 a.m.

Most people think my job … is the greatest job in America because I get to attend every sporting event and have a behind-the-scenes relationship with the department. But I usually don’t get to sit down to watch the games until after halftime.

Today’s students … are very impressive. The quality of students coming into the University makes me feel like all of us are going to be in good hands in the future.

I wish I’d kept … my tickets from each of this year’s Pitt basketball games, because this is a season to remember.