March 2002


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Alumni Notebook

Law and order

Fred Hill
In 1971, a female cop patrolling a beat might have shocked more than a few people. But not Fred Hill (CGS ’75, Law ’78). Growing up with a strong, feminist mother, he learned there was no reason why women couldn’t do things as well as, or even better, than men. That’s why he wasn’t surprised to find women in his class at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, which happened to be the first academy class to graduate women. Hill recalls the women handled the extremely rigorous training with no problem: “The women were more competitive than the men when it came to the personal defense training. Many men were beaten by the female cadets.” 

The philosophy that anyone can do anything, regardless of sex or physical or personal handicap, which his mother instilled in him, rubbed off on his life in many ways. It spurred him through late-night studying and long hours on the job, and made him unafraid to wear any kind of hat. Aside from being a state trooper in his early years, Hill has been a lawyer, a professor, a lobbyist, and a marketer, all within diverse and successful companies and firms. In his current position as executive vice president of New York based J. P. Morgan Chase & Co., he oversees advertising, media relations, and philanthropy. His work there is the culmination of many years of “doing the same job, just using different names to describe it,” he says.

“As a lawyer I was defending an idea,” he explains. “As a lobbyist I was advocating an idea. Now, as a marketer, I’m simply selling a concept.” He credits much of his success to Pitt. He has been involved with the University as a student, a teacher, and as an active member in the Alumni Association.

Today, he serves as the newest member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. The position takes him back to his roots in many ways. After receiving his law degree, he returned to Pitt as an adjunct professor of law within CGS, taking inspiration from his mentor and former professor Jack Karns. Hill also met his wife, Lynn Fisher Hill (Law ’88) through the University, his son and father are Pitt alumni, and his sister works at the University.

Certainly, nobody would question his allegiance to Pitt. He is eager to couple that allegiance with his business savvy. “Now, instead of advocating an idea for a company, I’m selling ‘Pitt’ as an idea,” he says. “This institution is worth more and more every day because of its alumni and students. I want the world to know about us.”

—Jennifer Meccariello

Life member

Janet McKeever Wahl
Janet McKeever Wahl looked out at the crowd. She glanced at her TriDelta sisters. Then, with as much gusto as she could muster, she launched into “Jubilation T. Cornpone” from the musical Lil’ Abner.

The long hours of rehearsal and late nights spent in front of the mirror cultivating her talents paid off: Her sorority’s name was called as the winner of Greek Week’s Greek Sing competition.

That happened more than 40 years ago and it would be understandable if Wahl no longer remembered what had occurred. But those memories surfaced during the “A Taste of the University of Pittsburgh” event held in San Diego last year.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Wahl (EDU ’65, ’66) switched coasts 25 years ago. During that alumni get together in San Diego, she recalled how the Greek Sing, an annual musical skit competition, was her first victory at Pitt, and gave her the taste for the rewards of leadership. As an undergraduate, she went on to become president of her sorority, serve on the Student Government Board, and sit on the Homecoming Committee.

Most of all, the semi-retired communications consultant remembers how much Pitt meant to her. It cemented her decision to become an alumni association life member.

Her dues go into a permanent alumni association endowment. In return, she receives a variety of benefits such as University book center discounts, University library privileges, alumni travel offers, and career placement services.

Her memories of Pitt are hers to keep forever.


Koral’s Korner

Show that card!

Before each home game last football season, alumni and friends were welcomed to the Alumni Tent across from Gate A at Heinz Field. Once inside, Pitt Alumni Association members merely had to flash their membership cards to receive gifts ranging from license plate frames to T-shirts. The bracing weather before the Miami game made the tent especially inviting. Alumni enjoyed nachos and fellowship seasoned with music and sports talk, while awaiting kickoff. Bill Corbett, BUS ’57, who dropped by early, drove from Tennessee, as he does for each home game. Ronald Parfitt, UPG ’78, and his wife, Annetta, made it a family affair with son, Pitt Policeman Rick, UPB ’96, and his wife, Debbie, who were also in attendance as well as grandson, Ron III. Tim Pecsenye, LAW ’87, flew in from Philly for the event. Letterman of Distinction Bob Kennedy, BUS ’55, and wife, Joan, stopped by as did Van Phan, DEN ’99, and Del Shofner, DEN ’99. Association Life Member Jeff Stewart, CGS ’81, and his wife, Kathy, were in attendance, and Rich Kowal, GSPIA ’76, and his wife, Sara, were in from Harrisburg. Camillo Ricordi, who trained at UPMC, had traveled from Miami to Pittsburgh to visit the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute on official business and stopped by the tent on his way to the game. Steve Kondis, DEN ’53, was his usual jovial self when he arrived. Hank Pulkowski, CGS ’75, has put his administration of justice degree to work and is an assistant chief at the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office. Lauren Chorney, CGS ’84, EDU ’00, spent her time at the tent thinking of better ways for her CGS Alumni Board to communicate with each other. Ledware Anton, CAS ’63, DEN ’66, arrived in the company of his wife, Diane, and daughter, Nichole Anton Wallace, CAS ’00. Daniel Salopek, ENG ’60, drove with his wife, Polly, 125 miles from their home in Ohio for the game. They were pleased to find a warm reception in the tent. Like many folks that evening, Heather Popovich, CGS, ’99, was sporting red, white, and blue as well as blue and gold. Corinne Barnes, NUR ’64, ’74, displayed admirable school spirit when the Pittsburgh Panther and cheerleaders stopped by. Meanwhile, Connie Way Angermeier, CAS ’93, EDU ’97, was among the alums who suited up in Panther jersey and helmet for a free photo with Walt Harris (courtesy of her association membership card) as her husband, Michael, CGS ’93, looked on. The Pitt game day experience is alive and well on the North Shore.
Mimi Koral, CAS 1975, Director of Alumni Communications

Officers: President Samuel S. Zacharias (Arts and Sciences ’64), Gateway Financial Group, Inc.—President-elect Eva Tansky Blum (Law ’73, Arts and Sciences ’70), PNC Bank—First Vice President Michael A. Bryson (Arts and Sciences ’68), Mellon Bank Corporation—Second Vice President Susan Schindel Ellsweig (Education ’68), Carlson Wagonlit Travel—Secretary S. Jeffrey Kondis (Business ’82, Engineering ’77), Watson Standard Company—Treasurer Ruth A. Forsyth (Arts and Sciences ’76), The Acacia Group—Immediate Past President Cynthia Roth (Nursing ’81)—Executive Director Leland D. Patouillet (Education ’00), Alumni Association.1-800-ALU-PITT; Fax: (412) 624-8248;

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