Meet Nancy Merritt, the new vice chancellor for alumni relations already hard at work for the Pitt community.
You took on your new position in August—what are your first impressions?
Merritt: “Hail to Pitt” isn’t just an awesome catchphrase. I’m stepping into a revered and successful community of alumni who support the University, one another, and the world through their professional and volunteer accomplishments. Their welcome to me has been warm and supportive.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to alumni relations?
Merritt: An alumni association should be all about making connections and advancing fellow alumni and the institution. I want to inspire alumni to take advantage of events in their areas—from educational and community service opportunities to game watches. I will encourage them to engage with the University in every way possible as we build a vibrant network of Pitt alumni and raise the profile of the University through our success and advocacy.
What are you planning next?
Merritt: Lots of listening. I want to meet as many alumni as I can. But because I can’t meet all 318,000 living Pitt alumni, I plan to offer a survey in the coming months so alumni can tell us how the Pitt Alumni Association can best serve them. What are their needs, interests, andexpectations, and how are we serving them? Then we need to show alumni that we have heard them by delivering meaningful opportunities to engage with Pitt and one another in the ways that they prefer.
What is your favorite Pitt tradition?
Merritt: Saying, “Hail to Pitt!” It’s like a secret handshake, a rallying cry, and a mantra all rolled into one.
All in the Family