University of Pittsburgh

alumni hall

Pitt Chat

Written by Dan Majors

dollyellenbergA conversation with Dolly Ellenberg (A&S ’73), vice president for development, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh; a former board member of Pitt’s Alumni Leadership Council Association; and a Life Member of the alumni association.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature in the School of Arts and Sciences. Coming from a family of educators, she thought she’d become a teacher. Instead, she began to help nonprofit groups to thrive. She has worked with Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museums for more than 20 years. “Sometimes I feel like I was hired by Andrew Carnegie,” she jokes. “I’ve worked in Oakland all my life, and from the window in my office I can see the Cathedral of Learning. In a way, I’ve never left the campus.”

The joy of my career is … working at an institution that has so much of an impact on Pittsburgh and the surrounding region.

Night at the museum … is either a big party or very quiet. It’s fun to walk out of your office and find yourself in the middle of a wedding reception.

The most important thing about being a manager is … appreciating each individual’s unique skills.

Pictures of me from my college days … are interesting. I don’t know who that person is.

From my days at Pitt, I still have … my Pitt lantern from Lantern Night (right, on tabletop). We went through the Cathedral of Learning at night, and all the lanterns were lit. It’s such a lovely ceremony. I keep it on a bookcase in my office at home.

My favorite album cover is … Abbey Road.

My passport is … always at the ready. I love travel. It’s a wonderful way to learn about people and cultures.

A food I associate with Pitt is … an Original hot dog. I still have one every once in a while.

A bright sunny day means … there’s a smile on my face.

A dark stormy night means … there’s probably still a smile on my face.