N O T E B O O K
LEGACY SCHOLARSHIP WINNER
One of the first recipients of the Pitt Alumni Association's Freshman Legacy Scholarship, Jennifer Ames, will graduate this year. In 1993, when Jennifer received her award, the Association gave out just 12 scholarships; this year, the total has risen to 45.
"I'm impressed with how many students have been awarded scholarships," says Ames. "I know some of them would not be here were it not for that help."
Ames, whose father, Howard, also attended Pitt (Law '70, Arts and Sciences '67), attended Winchester-Thurston High School in Pittsburgh. Her college major, molecular biology, arose from an early knowledge of what she wanted to do.
"Ever since I was small, I've been interested in life and living things," Ames says. She chose molecular biology because, she says, it's difficult to study a whole organism. "You can't ask very pointed questions and get answers. But if you're interested in a piece of life or the interactions of two molecules that are important to life, you can ask very careful questions and get wonderful answers."
Ames especially thanks two professors, Craig Peebles and Linda Jen- Jacobson. "Craig gave me the opportunity to come into a lab as a freshman; he took a chance with me, and I owe him so much for that. Linda, who studies the interactions of proteins and DNA, is the best in the world at what she does. I think that's not ever disputed, and to have her here is such a luxury."
Ames plans go on to graduate school where she will work toward a PhD in biochemistry. She also plans to be an active alumna and to give to funds that will provide the kind of scholarship assistance she received.
She says, "The Pitt Alumni Association should feel wonderful that someday the students they've helped will make important contributions in terms of knowledge generally and society in particular. This is the finest thing you can buy with your money."
Pitt's Greek system is one of the oldest in the country, boasting chapters that were some of the earliest established. Indeed, Pitt's Phi Gamma Delta claims a founding in 1863 and Kappa Alpha Theta in 1915. Respected throughout the country, Pitt's Greeks have always been an active, albeit small, community on campus, but, until 1994, something was lacking: alumni involvement.
"In 1994, we formed the Greek Alumni Council (GAC), whose function is to provide mentors and advisors to the individual chapters here on campus," says Kerry Daley (Education '93, Arts and Sciences '90), assistant director for student activities. Daley, who is also advisor to the Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council, urges the many professionals in the Pittsburgh area to come back to campus and assist the chapters with the issues facing them in the '90s.
According to Daley (a Chi Omega herself), alumni can help in a multitude of ways. Each fraternity, for instance, has a housing corporation, made up of alumni, that manages donations, makes decisions on capital expenditures, and participates in homecoming and other social functions.
"Some chapters didn't have any graduates helping them; that was one reason we set the council up. We want to help those chapters form support groups because our alumni are truly our lifeblood," Daley says.
With the formation of the Greek Alumni Council, the group now also has a voice in the larger, general Alumni Association. Ed Lettieri is chair of GAC and sits on the Association board of directors.
Former Pitt Alumni Association president J. Roger Glunt has been an active Greek volunteer, speaking at undergraduate recruiting events and helping pass out bids during rush week at his old fraternity, Sigma Chi. "That's the kind of help we need," says Daley, "and that's why we named the award that goes to an undergrad who makes significant contributions to the Alumni Association the J. Roger Glunt award." The Association also presents a distinguished service award during Greek Week, which is given for outstanding chapter service, campus service, leadership, and scholarship.
Now that a formal structure for Greek alumni support is in place, Daley hopes that many local graduates will heed the call. "We need people with various areas of expertise. If you're an accountant, you can work on the frat budget or help as a financial advisor. If you have a marketing background, you could serve as a recruitment advisor; a counseling background, we can use you as a personnel or human relations advisor. The more alums that are involved, the better off the entire Greek community is." And, a support group for the support group has also been developed. "We get all our alumni mentors together and discuss the things that are going on," Daley says. "Alums always give me a new perspective on things. They say, 'Have you looked at it this way?' They're terrific sounding boards."
For more information on the Greek Alumni Council, contact Kerry Daley at (412)648-7830. Fax: (412)648-1366. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Andrew J. Kuzneski Jr.
President-Elect, Cynthia Roth
Vice President, Samuel S. Zacharias
Vice President, Michael A. Bryson
Secretary, Eva T. Blum
Treasurer, Brian Generalovich
Immediate Past President,
PITT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Pitt's fight song, "Hail to Pitt" was written by George M.
Kirk when he was a student in the college in 1911. Music for
the song was written by Lester Milton Taylor, a member of the
Pitt Glee Club. Hail to Pitt was probably the first college song
to be broadcast on radio when KDKA aired a football game
for the first time in 1921.
--from The Owl
"He was Pitt's good-will Ambassador." "He was one of the greatest runners who ever lived." "Nobody did it all as well." These were some of the accolades given to Arnie Sowell (Business '57) when he returned to campus last fall.
Sowell was honored by the African American Alumni Council (AAAC) and given the 1996 Award of Distinction by the Varsity Letter Club. The occasion was especially significant for Sowell because it reunited him with friends from the past: his fellow track teammates Perry Jones and Zinnerford Smith, as well as Olympic medalists Johnny Woodruff and Herb Douglas. Sowell grew up in Pittsburgh's Bedford Dwellings. His lifelong friend, Joy Sato, remembers, "As kids, we'd watch as he'd run down the hill from the top of Bedford Village; he seemed to float out of the clouds. He'd always wave at us. He knew we were so proud of him." Sowell came to Pitt on an athletic scholarship and tied the world record for 1,000 yards, as well as captured the NCAA 880-yard championship, the Pan-American games 800-meter championship, and a spot on the 1956 US Olympic Team.
After graduation, Sowell married his college sweetheart, Barbara Peace (Arts and Sciences '57), and began a military career that took him all over the world. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1980.
Currently, he is procurement director for the Charlotte (North Carolina) Housing Authority. "My kids find it interesting that I started out my life in the Hill," he says. "And now, late in my career, I'm working in low-income housing. They say I've come full circle."--Sally Neiser