Spring 2022

Progress, in Progress

A letter from Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations Nancy Merritt about the next president of the Pitt Alumni Association.

Woman with dark straight hair, dark-rimmed glasses, navy blue blazer, white shirt and layered necklaces smiles at camera in front of teal backgroundThis summer is going to be one of transition and growth for the Pitt Alumni Association (PAA. On July 1, President-Elect Rich Sedory (A&S ’83, LAW ’86) will begin his two-year term as president of the PAA while our current president, Valerie Njie (EDUC ’71), will move into her new role as past president.

Thanks to our system of having presidents serve both before and after their terms, the transition will be a seamless one, allowing Rich to build upon Val’s accomplishments — and there were many!

Val assumed the presidency during one of the most difficult times in the history of our University and our country. But, as with all things, she approached the challenge with grace and vigor. She quickly dealt with the present, transitioning to online meetings and virtual events, while always pointing the PAA board toward the future. Under her leadership, we made great strides toward becoming a more effective, engaging, and inclusive organization. We expanded Lantern Night to include all first-year students — not just women — and moved beyond the traditional Homecoming king and queen to honor students who embody the “Spirit of Pitt.” Most notably, we commissioned an Equity and Social Justice Task Force, which produced a report and recommendations about inclusivity and belonging that will guide us for years to come.

I am incredibly grateful to Val for her transformative leadership of the PAA and for her friendship as I took on the role of vice chancellor. We are a better organization today because of her tenure.

I am equally thrilled to welcome Rich to the helm. He is a longtime member of our board and one who is truly focused on our mission of engaging alumni and students and advancing the University of Pittsburgh.

I hope you will support and interact with the PAA as we begin this next chapter of our alumni story. I encourage you to join your local chapter or one of our affinity networks, become a Pitt Advocate, attend an event, or visit us online at Pitt Commons. We look forward to seeing you there!


As always — Hail to Pitt!

Nancy Merritt

Vice Chancellor, Alumni Relations


Don't miss: "Say It Loud. Say It Proud," a story about how PAA and the Pitt community are helping to advocate for the University at a crucial time.


This story was posted on May 24, 2022. It is part of Pitt Magazine's Spring 2022 issue.