Carlos Angulo-Galvis (ENGR ’59G, ’58) hikes along the rocky outcrop of Mt. Washington. It’s the late 1950s, and the Pittsburgh skyline behind him is composed of classic brick buildings, none of them reaching above 30 stories. With an engineer’s eye, he examines the mountain and envisions how a tunnel can be built through the slope, a vision that today is known as the Fort Pitt Tunnel.
As a freshman, Francine G. McNairy (FAS ’78, SOC WK ’70G, CAS ’68) is trying to find her way around Pitt’s campus when she wanders into a cafeteria. She’s startled when a graduate student approaches her and asks, “What’s your aim in life?” McNairy mumbles a flustered answer to the stranger, who turns out to be Jack Daniel, Pitt’s vice provost today. At that moment, her goal was to be the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Henry Mankin (MED ’53, CAS ’52), a native Pittsburgher, stands in line at the dean’s office with other first-year medical students, waiting to receive his white coat and cadaver assignment for his gross anatomy class. It’s 1949, and he nervously scans the crowd of strangers, who seem to be more graceful and socially comfortable than he. Mankin feels relieved when he sees a few familiar faces from the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where he grew up.
Today, Angulo-Galvis is the president of Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Columbia; McNairy is the president of Millersville University of Pennsylvania; and Mankin is the Edith M. Ashley Professor Emeritus of Orthopaedics at Harvard University Medical School and a senior research consultant for the Orthopaedic Oncology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
All were honored this year with the Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award, one of the most prestigious awards given by the alumni association. The annual award honors alums who have accomplished outstanding professional achievements and are dedicated to community service.
Colombian native Angulo-Galvis helped to design the Fort Pitt Tunnel while working as an engineer at A.C. Ackhenheil & Associates. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Pitt, which he was able to attend through a student loan and country exchange program.
The tunnel design experience helped him when he returned to Colombia in 1960 to design major infrastructure projects with Hidroestudios. Ultimately, he became president and partner of the engineer-consulting firm, and he supervised the design and construction of one of the highest hydroelectric dams in the world.
Angulo-Galvis also joined the faculty of the Universidad de los Andes as a civil engineering professor in 1964 and now is serving as president of the university. In his leadership role, he has changed the socioeconomic profile of the private institution by offering financial aid support to 40 percent of the students.
Since McNairy and Daniel’s first meeting in the cafeteria more than 40 years ago, Daniel became a mentor, PhD dissertation advisor, and ultimately a friend and colleague who helped McNairy find her aim in life. He was the keynote speaker at her presidential inauguration at Millersville University.
McNairy not only has the distinction of being the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree, but she continued her education to earn a master’s degree in social work and a doctoral degree in speech rhetoric and communication.
She attributes her drive for education to her mother, who was active in the Pittsburgh Public Schools as the first African American president of the school board, a member of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees, and a Parent Teacher Association leader. McNairy grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.
Before becoming president in 2003, McNairy served Millersville University as provost. During her tenure, retention and graduation rates of minority students increased, a distance-learning program was launched, and five new graduate degrees were added.
Although Mankin was nervous on his first day of medical school, he spoke with ease at a 40th class reunion ceremony in 1993 to people who had become friends and colleagues.
Now, more than five decades since he graduated, Mankin has an abundance of professional accomplishmentsincluding the establishment of a fellowship program to train physicians on how to treat patients with bone cancers, the publication of nearly 600 research articles in the field of orthopaedics, and the development of a computer system to track and analyze nearly 17,000 patients with bone tumors. He served as the chief of orthopaedic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital for 24 years. Pitt has established the Henry J. Mankin Research Professorship in Orthopaedics to honor his achievements.
Mankin continues to give annual class lectures about rheumatology and orthopaedics at the University and is a member of the Dean’s Visiting Committee at the medical school to discuss policies, curriculum, and other school affairs. He’s an honorary member of England’s Royal College of Surgeons, as well as numerous orthopaedic associations worldwide. He has served on committees, including the Arthritis Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, and National Research Council.
Cara Hayden (A&S ’04)
The Talk of the University
I know that some of you think the Pitt Alumni Association is all fun and games. It’s not true, you know. Don’t get me wrong; our volunteers often have a rollicking good time. They also work very hard. In February, the alumni association’s Board of Directors and Alumni Leadership Council traveled from around the globe to Alumni Hall. Committees met in the morning. The communications committee (my favorite for obvious reasons) is headed by two dynamic Denises: Denise Callihan (SLIS ’92) and Denise Dunyak (SLIS ’86, SHRP ’81). Attending the meeting was a cross section of the board, including Frank Bursic (ENGR ’87G, ’80), one solid volunteer who gets my vote for having handed out the most Panthers towels to fans before the Fiesta Bowl Game; Michael Ford (CAS ’81), who travels from Baltimore to attend these meetings; Bernard Mack (CAS ’88), association vice president and former African American Alumni Council president; Tony Massoud (ENGR ’63), founder and president of the Cincinnati/Columbus/Dayton Pitt Club; and Joel Reed (GSPH ’96, KGSB ’96, CAS ’93), cofounder with his wife, Tina (DEN ’97, CAS ’94), of the Bay Area Pitt Clubthey recently returned to live in the ’Burgh. Also braving Pittsburgh in February to attend the meeting were Bart Whitehead (KGSB ’97, DEN ’90) of Florida and Michelle Tallarico (CAS ’01) of Virginia, who is the Chesapeake and Potomac Club president. One attendee who didn’t have far to travel was Pittsburgher and Alumnae Council President Martha Terry (FAS ’94). All of these “typical” board members prove the adage, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” Everyone on the board is successful professionally and busy socially. The time they carve out to help pursue the association’s mission, “to support the University and enrich the lives of alumni worldwide,” is precious. The agenda of the full board meeting that followed was full as usual. Two new school representatives were seated at the table for the first time: Connie Tanner-Bird (SHRP ’79G, ’77) and Keith Caldwell (SOC WK ’02G).
Online Class Notes
Muhammad S. Awan (ENGR ’81G) writes from Karachi, Pakistan, in response to the Pitt Connection, our monthly e-mail newsletter: “It not only reminds me of the wonderful days I spent at Pitt, but it speaks of many more new events, which gives me still more pleasure.”
Congratulations to Linda Wharton-Boyd (A&S ’79G, ’75G, ’72), the new president of the African American Alumni Council. She is COO of the Wharton Group in Washington, D.C.
Got nostalgia? Looking for pleasure?
Look no further than alumni online services. They’re free. Just register at www.alumni.pitt.edu. Online services are sponsored by the Pitt Alumni AssociationMaking Connections.
And, if you haven’t seen the Alumni Impact Report ‘04, visit www.alumni.pitt.edu/impact. The report illustrates the work of the alumni association and includes a video message to alumni by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.
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