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 December 2001
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Cornerstones
Campaign for the University

Healthy Outlook

The Porter Prize

As president of the Pittsburgh-based Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Karen Feinstein has her share of day-to-day problems. She doesn’t get overwhelmed, though. Instead, she recalls the philosophy of the foundation’s former director, the late Milton Porter (Business ’32).

Porter—who died in 1996—never had problems, says Feinstein. He had learning experiences. “He was the ultimate improvement person,” she says. “He had the ability to see things as they should be, not just as they are.” In whatever he did, Feinstein marveled at the way Porter imagined how something could be better.

His influences weren’t only on the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. He was also trustee of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society, the Carnegie Museum, director of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and president of UPMC Montefiore Hospital.

Like Feinstein, Lois Michaels (Public Health ’63)—president emeritus of the Health Education Center—remembers Porter’s positive approach. Even when it came to his personal health, Michaels recollects how the impeccably dressed Porter would weigh himself daily and watch his diet.

His commitment to a healthy lifestyle led to his work as the founding chair for the Health Education Center, which helps reduce disease for the disadvantaged. It also prompted the 1983 creation of the Porter Prize, which recognizes people who contribute to the changing face of health care.

The Graduate School of Public Health recently became home of this award through a $250,000 gift from the Adrienne and Milton Porter Foundation. Steven A. Schroeder is this year’s recipient.

Schroeder has published extensively in the fields of clinical medicine, health care organization and financing, workforce, quality of care, health policy, public health, and philanthropy. He serves on a number of boards, including the New England Journal of Medicine editorial board and the Board of Overseers of Harvard College.

Since 1990, he has headed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest national philanthropy devoted to health care. Under his leadership, the foundation has focused on insuring access to health care for all Americans, improving the care of chronically ill people, and preventing substance abuse.

Thanks in part to the legacy of Milton Porter, his work will continue. —Cyndi Braun Eltz

Construction of a Winner

Bryan Knight wins Mosites Scholarship

Calling Bryan Knight a football player wouldn’t be wrong. In fact, calling him an excellent football player wouldn’t be wrong, either. At the start of this season, ESPN sports commentator Mel Kiper ranked the Pitt Panther defensive lineman among the best 30 players in college football. The Lombardi Award—for the best college defensive lineman in the land—and Knight were frequently mentioned in the same breath by more than one analyst.

With those kinds of accolades, it’s not surprising that Pitt named Knight the recipient of this year’s Donald A. and Steven T. Mosites Endowed Athletic Scholarship.

To define Knight’s success through a couple of end zones and 100 yards would be a big mistake. “Bryan not only excels on the field, he personifies the finest qualities of a student athlete on and off the field,” says E.J. Borghetti, Pitt’s assistant athletic director for media relations. Knight graduated last April with a BA in social work and is pursuing a master’s degree in education in this, his final year of playing eligibility with the Panthers.

Although Knight hopes to have a career in professional football, he’s preparing himself to be an elementary school teacher and, ultimately, a school principal. He loves working with children and—despite the demands of his academic and athletic regimen—he regularly volunteers at elementary and middle schools, youth football camps, and family service organizations in the region.

“I always talk to the kids about leadership,” he says. “Being your own person, staying focused, listening to their teachers. And working hard. Because nothing comes easy. You’ve got to work for it.”

He credits his mother as his greatest source of inspiration. “I’m a momma’s boy,” he says proudly. Then, he quickly acknowledges his father’s influences, too. Otherwise, he says laughingly, “My dad will say, ‘What about me?’ ” He doesn’t forget to mention his three sisters, either, including the oldest one, Marquita, who is studying at Pitt for an MA in occupational therapy.

His diplomacy translates onto the gridiron as well. His teammates voted him this year’s team captain, which moved him much more than an offensive lineman. “There are a lot of great guys on the team. Outstanding all-around guys. Being named by my peers, I really cherish that. It’s a really big honor.”

Receiving the Mosites Scholarship has meant a great deal to him, also, by demonstrating that his hard work on the field and in the classroom has not gone unnoticed by the University.

Athletic Director Steve Pederson understands the importance of this kind of recognition.

“The Mosites Athletic Scholarship—and others like it—are essential to keeping Pitt’s overall athletic program strong and growing. It’s great to see a terrific young man like Bryan Knight be the recipient [and] wonderful that Pitt has such generous supporters as Don and Steve Mosites who are providing an opportunity for a great education for someone who really values a great education.”

Donald A. Mosites (BSCE, ’56), president and treasurer of Mosites Construction Company, one of the largest Pittsburgh area construction contractors, and Steven T. Mosites (BSCE, ’52), president of the heavy division of the company, are both Pitt alumni. —Karen Levine

Building Blocks

Maynard Smith said he’d like to give a gift to Pitt’s athletics program, but no one took him as seriously as did his wife Natalie. Both had religiously attended every home and away football game since the days of Coach John “Jock” Sutherland. Upon her husband’s death, Mrs. Smith made good on his musings, giving $50,000 to create the Mr. and Mrs. Maynard Smith and Family Assistant Football Coach’s Office at the Duratz Athletic Complex.

Theodore Goldberg (School of Law ’70) recently gave $25,000 to the school. The gift was given in recognition of the law clinics programs.

Pitt has a hearty collection of Latin American publications and periodicals, and Mr. and Mrs. Torrence M. Hunt Jr.’s gift of $60,000 only makes it more robust. The pledge will help renovate space on the first floor of Hillman Library, creating the Latin American Reading room. Unique in its place in the University Library System, the special room will give students studying in the Center for Latin American Studies an opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Latin America.

In memory of Meyer S. Sikov (School of Law ’19), Rhoda F. and Seymour A. Sikov (School of Law ’50) and Carol Sikov Gross (School of Law ’84) have given $25,000 to the School. The gift is earmarked for the Elder Law Legal Clinic to commemorate Gross’s founding of the Elder Law Committee of the Allegheny Country Bar Association.

To find out more, check out Pitt's Office of Institutional Advancement.



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