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CORNERSTONES

A Gift
for Language


A retired Pitt professor endows a
scholarship for students of
Chinese language and literature.

BY FAITH SCHANTZ


Wang Yi-t'ung received fellowship support when he was a college student in China and later when he came to the United States to study at Harvard University. The retired Pitt professor's recent gift to the University's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures creates similar opportunities for students who study in the field and in the department that remain close to his heart.

Wang came to the United States from China to study in 1944. He was appointed director of the East Asian Languages and Area Center at the University of Pittsburgh in 1962 and served as the chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature from 1962 to 1967. "I've had a sentimental attachment to the department ever since," he says.

He retired in 1985 and recently endowed a scholarship fund with a gift of stock valued at $10,000 to provide an annual award for an undergrad student of Chinese language and/or literature.

Most undergrads who study Chinese at the University of Pittsburgh are not native speakers, notes Wang. Referring to the difficulty of the Chinese language for Westerners, Wang says he hopes his contribution will further inspire students who have chosen what he calls "a hard row to hoe."




Sweet Spirits

A new museum commemorates
the golden age of pharmacies. on a
century-long tradition of service.

BY DAVID DOORLEY


Sweet spirits of nitre for fever. Lydi Pinkham products promising "a tonic for every woman's ills." Botanicals extracted from tree roots, barks, and leaves--like the camphor oil rubbed on generations of youngsters to relieve minor aches.

These patent remedies were guaranteed a spot in every drugstore across America in the early 1900s. Hundreds of over-the-counter medicaments are now largely forgotten--usually once they were held accountable for their claims. The remedies are gone much like the old-time pharmacy itself, where teens gathered at the soda-fountain counter and families ate burgers in the parlor. Where you could rent a bestseller or have your film developed. Where the pharmacist greeted customers by name.

The atmosphere may be difficult to replicate, but some of the fixtures, medicines, vials, mortars, pestles, and journals from those days are now on display in the Elmer H. Grimm Sr. Pharmacy Museum, which opened last October in Salk Hall, at the fourth-floor entrance to Pitt's School of Pharmacy.

The museum exists thanks to a substantial gift from Kathleen and Donald W. Grimm (Business '70, Pharmacy '63) as well as a sizable collection of memorabilia donated by alumni, in particular Fred Hayes (Pharmacy '58), Rodger Myer (Pharmacy '54), and Richard W. Remic (Pharmacy '76). The school has initiated a fund-raising campaign for the museum's future needs.

"It was important to impart a sense of history to our students about their profession," says Randy Juhl, dean of the School of Pharmacy. "We can learn much about where we're going from where we've been."

The display area is only eight feet deep, yet it seems like a full-service pharmacy from the past. Named after Donald Grimm's grandfather, Elmer (Pharmacy '19), the museum is a classic little pharmacy, according to Grimm, who learned the business in his family's drugstore and is one of 13 Grimm relatives who have graduated from Pitt's pharmacy school. An uncle, Jacob Grimm (Pharmacy '50 ), sold the family's last pharmacy in 1986 and has been the archivist on this project for several years.

"We got involved because we wanted a connection between the golden age of pharmacies in the early part of the century and pharmacies today," says Donald Grimm, who was the School of Pharmacy's 1994 distinguished alumnus. "Today people don't know that men like my grandfather and his colleagues played a vital role in health care during that era."

To expand the museum's scope and increase its accessibility, the school is developing a "virtual" museum of digitalized photographs on the World Wide Web.

"We're tying the past to the future with technology," says Juhl. "Hopefully that will prevent the loss of the pharmacy's old-time identity."




Enterprising Example

A campaign is launched to endow
a chair in H. J. Zoffer's honor.

BY ERICA LLOYD


The University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business is establishing a chair in honor of Dean Emeritus H. J. Zoffer, who stepped down from his position last summer. The school has launched a $1.5 million campaign, headed by Thomas O'Brien, chairman and CEO of PNC Bank, to endow the Zoffer Chair in Business Administration.

During his three-decade tenure, Zoffer was known affectionately by many as the Dean of Deans. When Zoffer assumed the post of dean of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Business in 1968, the program was much smaller. The undergraduate College of Business Administration had been phased out a few years before. There were no dual-degree programs or endowed chairs. And the school was housed in cramped quarters in the Cathedral of Learning. Today, the Katz School thrives in Mervis Hall, which was constructed in the early 1980s. An endowment of $10 million from the Katz family, nine endowed chairs, and several University professorships are manifestations of Zoffer's positive relationship with the corporate community.

The Katz School now offers eight dual-degree programs. And its MBA curriculum is used as a benchmark worldwide by schools interested in developing academically rigorous, accelerated-degree programs. Zoffer's renown extends well beyond Pitt. He has served as the president of the American Assembly of Collegiate Business Schools and the American Association of University Administrators.

Corporate leaders, fellow deans, university presidents, alumni, students, staff, faculty, and other colleagues--more than 400 guests--gathered at a dinner in his honor in downtown Pittsburgh shortly after Zoffer stepped down. In a tribute toast, the business school's interim dean, Andrew R. Blair, noted that Zoffer "has established the Katz School as a major force for business education in this country."




Toward a
Science-literate
Citizenry

Pitt develops an
integrated science course
for non-science majors.

BY JOSIE FISHER


Should we be concerned about radon in our homes? What amount of risk is acceptable when storing radioactive waste? How should we ration organs for transplant surgery? These days, our lives are inextricably linked to scientific issues.

If every graduate is to make intelligent, discerning calls on such issues, universities must embrace a new approach to science education, says Peter Koehler, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Toward that end, Pitt has sought and received a grant of $150,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to develop and implement an integrated science course for non-science majors.

The College of Arts and Sciences will introduce the course, entitled Science: Society and Impact, next fall. Led by biology professor Harry Corwin, the team of professors will also represent the departments of chemistry, computer science, history and philosophy of science, neuroscience, physics and astronomy, and psychology.

Unlike the departments' current introductory courses, this two-semester sequence will stress the understanding of fundamental concepts in all of these sciences and examine how the sciences interrelate and affect everyday life. Students will visit on- and off-campus laboratories to become familiar with how the scientific community operates and what drives the direction of research and the development of technology.

As course professors trace scientific developments, they will place them within their historical and philosophical contexts.

Pitt's Learning and Research Development Center will evaluate the course's effectiveness. Pitt plans to share its results with other universities.


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