Fall 2020
Pitt Proud

Mission Critical

Chancellor Gallagher on prioritizing safety and success in “a strange new world.”

The University of Pittsburgh community knows how to rise to a challenge—and that’s just what students, faculty and staff have been doing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The path forward has required innovation, ingenuity, resilience and care for others. Good thing those qualities are so abundant at Pitt.

“It’s a strange new world,” Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said in a campus address in May. “But I remain extremely proud to be your colleague and incredibly optimistic.” The chancellor has been leading the charge as the University prioritizes safety and success in the time of COVID-19. Read some highlights from his recent remarks on the subject here and learn more about Pitt’s pandemic response at coronavirus.pitt.edu.


“In this unprecedented time, it’s reassuring to remember that we are all part of the University of Pittsburgh’s strong, caring and capable community. It’s also clear that our community’s work—including developing potential vaccines, treating patients on the front lines and helping the helpers—has never been more vital.”

–April 10, addressing the University community


“One thing that I am particularly concerned about is that our students—a generation of bright, engaged individuals—will miss out on the opportunities and stability that many of us have known and enjoyed. We cannot let this crisis create a lost generation.”

–April 23, speaking to the Pittsburgh Business Times


“The act of educating students and performing vital research and scholarship is essential to our long-term well-being. It’s also an asset that the world needs now, more than ever.”

–July 17, addressing the University community


“The key thing to remember about a university is that it isn’t a place, it’s a community. It’s a special kind of community, one defined by a common purpose, to create the open and supportive environment we need to learn, to teach and to explore new ideas and make new discoveries. ... The community is nurtured by our shared commitment to defend it.”

–Aug. 18, addressing the Class of 2024


“Everything that was important to the University before still has to be important to the University now. I think that this narrative about going back to normal or being in an emergency has been really harmful, because the whole idea here was to adapt to a new normal that would allow us to do all of the things that a university could do.”

–Aug. 28, in an interview with University Times


“Education is mission critical. It’s really not the case that a student can stop growing and put their life on hold.”

–June 9, addressing the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee


“If you’re going to attribute our success over the last year to anything, you have to give that credit back to our University community. Under some of the most difficult circumstances some of us have ever seen, people stayed focused on why we’re here—to provide educational opportunities, to advance the frontiers of knowledge, to develop vaccines to save lives. That’s the key to our success.”

–Sept. 25, addressing the University’s Board of Trustees