University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

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University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
File:University of Pittsburgh Seal (official).svg
Motto Veritas et Virtus (Latin)
Motto in English
Truth and Virtue
Established 1963
Type State-related,[1] Liberal Arts
Endowment US$198,371[2]
President Dr. Livingston Alexander
Academic staff
73 (full-time)[3]
Students 1,502[3]
Location Bradford, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Rural, 317 acres (1.28 km2)
Colors Blue and gold
Athletics 13 varsity teams
NCAA Division III
Nickname Pitt-Bradford, UPB
UPB school logo

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, also known as Pitt-Bradford or UPB, is a four-year, baccalaureate degree-granting, state-related university institution that is a regional, residential campus of the University of Pittsburgh located in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Pitt-Bradford was listed among the Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report in its "America's Best Colleges 2010" annual college guide,[4] is named to the list of "Best Colleges in the Northeastern Region" by The Princeton Review,[5] and ranked 8th in the nation for satellite campuses with impressive reputations of their own in 2013 by The Best Colleges.[6]


The 1960s

Before the establishment of Pitt-Bradford, there were no institutions of higher education in the northwestern/northcentral region of Pennsylvania. This led Raymond N. Zoerkler, a Bradford geologist with the Hanley and Bird Company, to see the need for an educational resource and came up with the idea in 1962 for a regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Supported by Robert Cole, Bradford Hospital's chief administrator, and others, Zoerkler wrote a letter to Edward Litchfield, who was then chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. Zoerkler proposed that Pitt establish a campus to serve this area of Pennsylvania. On October 16, 1962, Chancellor Litchfield announced that there indeed was a need for accessible quality education in the region and a new Pitt campus was born. Litchfield appointed a committee of community leaders to serve as the advisory board for the new Pitt campus in Bradford. He named Dr. Donald E. Swarts, dean of Pitt-Johnstown, as the first president. J.B. Fisher, president of Kendall Refining, was named the first chairman of the Advisory Board. Swarts immediately began to work with the local Advisory Board to open the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

During the summer of 1963, Swarts and the board organized a faculty and bought Hamsher House, a building owned by Bradford Hospital. They renovated the building into classrooms, laboratories, a library and student lounges. On September 3, 1963, less than a year after Chancellor Litchfield's announcement, Pitt-Bradford welcomed its first class of students. This class had a mix of young men and women from all over Pennsylvania, as well as from New Jersey, New York and other states. The newly established campus was a two-year college that offered the beginning of a Pitt undergraduate education. It offered starter and transfer programs to 143 full-time and 145 part-time students. The new college was launched with the financial support of the region. Individuals and organizations in Bradford and surrounding regions contributed $758,000 that year. That enabled the college to start strong and become firmly rooted in Bradford. By 1964, the student body had grown to 380 full-time and 100 part-time students. Dr. Swarts believed that the Pitt-Bradford experience would be enriched by having both commuter and resident students, so the college purchased the 125-room Emery Hotel located in downtown Bradford for student housing.

On April 18, 1967, J.B. Fisher announced that Witco-Kendall Corporation would donate approximately 78 acres (320,000 m2) of land on the site of the former Harri Emery Airport in order to build a campus. At the same time, the City of Bradford and Bradford Township jointly announced they would make a 33-acre (130,000 m2) parcel of adjacent land, known as the Onofrio tract, available to Pitt-Bradford to develop a recreation area. This attractive setting, just outside the city, became the site for today's modern campus. University of Pittsburgh officials made a commitment to its new campus by bringing in new faculty, establishing a library collection, and starting new academic programs.[7]

The 1970s & 1980s

In the early 1970s, Pitt-Bradford set its sights on building a new campus and moving its academic focus from two-year to four-year programming. The college used $1.5 million in regional private monies it was able to raise to "seed" nearly $14 million worth of capital projects. They built two academic buildings: Swarts Hall and Fisher Hall. Other capital improvements included a residence hall complex, a sports center, outdoor recreational and athletic fields, and a student union. Hanley Library was the last building to complete the campus at this time. The library opened in March 1988. While the new physical plant was emerging, Pitt-Bradford, under the leadership of then-college president Dr. Richard E. McDowell, fulfilled another important goal: to offer four-year degrees. The first degree program came in 1975 with an associate of science degree in petroleum technology. Four years later in 1979, Pitt-Bradford began conferring four-year degrees after the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees and the Pennsylvania Department of Education granted Pitt-Bradford baccalaureate degree-granting status. Due in large part to a Title III grant, Pitt-Bradford added a significant number of bachelor-level programs beginning in 1985: biology, computer science, geology, history/political science, chemistry, economics, psychology, mathematics and communication.[7]

The 1990s

Significant campus upgrades were made in 1990s to both new buildings and academic programming. These included two new student residence halls, a laundry and security building, and extensive renovations to Fisher Hall. In 1994, the college revised its general education program. Pitt-Bradford joined only a small number of other similar institutions in providing an education with a liberal arts foundation to students in a public setting. Because of its location in northwestern Pennsylvania, the university also has a parallel mission to serve the needs of the region. Consequently, Pitt-Bradford also began offering professional programs such as business management, sports medicine, and nursing. However, the general education curriculum remained the required foundation for all programs.

During the middle of 1995, Pitt-Bradford announced its plans for the future. Plan 2000, coupled with the Facilities Master Plan, acted as the college’s guide into the next century. The plans, devised with an architectural firm from Pittsburgh, used a “residential” approach for future campus growth. This style allows the campus to keep the natural valley setting while focusing on functional accessibility for students to all aspects of living and learning on campus. Campus expansion and growth got a boost in 1995 when the college announced the success of Campaign 2000. More than $10 million was raised during the campaign, exceeding its goal by more than 25 percent. A major factor in surpassing the goal was the Blaisdell family of Bradford, owners of Zippo Manufacturing Company. Their dollar-for-dollar matching gift program for Blaisdell Hall, the college’s fine arts and communication arts building project, accounted for nearly $3.5 million.[7]

2000 & Beyond

In June 2002, Dr. Richard E. McDowell, who had been president since 1973 and helped Pitt-Bradford advance from a fledging two-year institution to a four-year university, stepped down as president. Three months later, the university dedicated the newly renovated and expanded Sport and Fitness Center, a project McDowell helped to see to fruition. The building features a new performance arena, the newly named McDowell Fieldhouse, a pool, a fitness center, sports medicine classrooms, a human performance lab and an athletic training room.

In April of the following year, Dr. Livingston Alexander, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Kean University in New Jersey, was named Pitt-Bradford’s third president. Dr. Alexander officially resumed the presidency on Aug. 1.

Two months later, the campus community and the surrounding community dedicated the newly renovated and expanded Frame-Westerberg Commons building and the academic portion of Blaisdell Hall, the university’s fine arts and communication arts building. The new Commons includes an enlarged Panther Shop, which features an after-hours convenience store; a dining room with a 9,482-square-foot (880.9 m2) addition; a new Commons Café; an expanded Mail Center; a new game room; and many more meeting rooms on both floors.

The first phase of Blaisdell Hall features two all-digital radio and television studios, a computer graphic arts lab, two art studios, a music rehearsal hall, a state-of-the-art music classroom, one high-tech classroom, three music practice rooms, a music listening library and two seminar/conference rooms. The following year, the second phase of Blaisdell Hall, which includes the 500-seat Bromeley Family Theater and the KOA Speer Art Gallery, was dedicated in a lavish ceremony. During the dedication, Marilyn Horne, internationally known opera star, Bradford native and supporter of Pitt-Bradford, received an honorary degree from the University of Pittsburgh, which was presented by Chancellor Mark Nordenberg in appreciation for her steadfast support of the university.

In 2005 and 2006, the university saw more growth – growth to its physical plant with the addition of Reed-Coit House, a 103-bed residence hall, and significant growth to its complement of academic programs with the addition of several new majors, including entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary arts, hospitality management, accounting, and health and physical education. Those new programs bring the university’s number of majors to more than 40. Pitt-Bradford also offers more than 50 minors, concentrations and pre-professional programs.

In March 2006, the university celebrated the successful conclusion of the Complete the Campus campaign, whose $13 million goal was surpassed. The purpose of the campaign is to support facilities, technology, scholarships and academics. Also in 2006, the campus also grew more with the acquisition of the Seneca Building in downtown Bradford, which houses offices, classroom space and will serve as the site of the future Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center.

Two years later, the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) House is opened, adding strength to the criminal justice program.

In 2010, the Sarah B. Dorn House, another residence hall and the Harriett B. Wick Chapel were both dedicated and opened.

In 2012, the university launched the 50 and Beyond Campaign for the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in an effort to raise $17.5 million for endowments and state-of-the-art instructional technologies. Later that year, a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh's Social and Urban Research found that Pitt-Bradford serves as an anchor institution in the region, generating $67.5 million worth of economic activity.

The following year, Pitt-Bradford celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding with an assortment of activities and the unveiling of a bronze panther statue created by artist David Hodges, a Bradford native.

Today Pitt-Bradford has over 1,500 students and nearly 10,000 alumni.The university has grown to 317 acres (1.28 km2). Pitt-Bradford also has 15 athletic teams, most recently adding women's bowling. The university also has successfully recruited students from many counties in Pennsylvania, including the urban centers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, 17 states and several countries.[7] .

Location and Campus

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is located in Bradford, Pennsylvania, a small city located in rural McKean County, Pennsylvania, 78 miles (126 km) south of Buffalo, New York, and 160 miles (260 km) north of Pittsburgh, PA. An oil boomtown in the late 19th century, Bradford is now well known as the home of Zippo Manufacturing Co. The city and two adjoining townships have a combined population of 18,000.

The university has nine main buildings, an athletics complex, which includes baseball and softball diamonds, a soccer field, and basketball and tennis courts; and several apartment-style residence halls.

Blaisdell Hall is Pitt-Bradford's fine arts and communication arts building and is home to the broadcast communications, public relations, interdisciplinary arts, art, theater and music programs. The building features all-digital television and radio studios, an art gallery, a 500-seat theater, art studios, a music rehearsal hall, cutting-edge lighting and sound booths, and music theory and technology studios.

The Ceramics Studio allows students to get their hands dirty, literally. The studio houses all of the equipment needed to create ceramic masterpieces, including 16 motorized pottery wheels, a manual kick wheel, a work table and a kiln.

The CSI House, is home to the criminal justice program. Students can learn how to process a crime scene and collect evidence using some of the same equipment and technologies that many professional law enforcement officers use.

The residence halls are all apartment-style. There are no traditional dorms on campus. There are three types of residence halls on campus: suites (Lester and Barbara Rice House, Reed-Coit House, Sarah B. Dorn House and Howard L. Fesenmyer House) town houses (Walt Whitman House, Zora Neal Hurston House, Emily Dickinson House, Ernest Hemingway House, Herman Melville House, T.S. Eliot House and Gertrude Stein House) and garden apartments (Willa Cather House, F. Scott Fitzgerald house, James Baldwin House and William Faulkner House). All the residence hall are fully wired for cable TV and Internet access.

Fisher Hall houses science classes such as biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, petroleum technology, and energy science and technology and is also home to the science labs. The building also houses two computer-aided learning centers, known as CALC labs. And, atop the building is the campus greenhouse. In 2010, a $5.9 million project was announced to upgrade the chemistry and biology laboratories in Fisher Hall.[8]

The Frame-Westerberg Commons is known as the students center. The building houses the campus dining room, a Commons Cafe, where students can get a quick meal while sitting by the fireplace; the Panthershop, which services as the campus bookstore and also features an after-hours convenience store; WDRQ, the campus radio station; a gameroom, which includes pool tables and ping pong tables; and a lounge area, where students can relax on one of several couches while watching the big-screen TV. A 10.5 foot-long (3.2m) bronze panther statue created by Bradford native David Hodges is positioned in front of the Commons building. The Panther, which stands on top of a rock originating from the same quarry that provided stone for the Pittsburgh campus’ Cathedral of Learning, was unveiled in honor of the 50th anniversary of the school's opening on September 3rd, 2013.[9]

The Hangar Building, which actually used to be an airplane hangar, houses the Office of Enrollment Services and Registrar, the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Business Affairs.

Hanley Library houses more than 95,000 books. The library also houses 250 electronic data bases, 9,300 e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. And, because Pitt-Bradford is part of the University of Pittsburgh, students also have access to more than 4 million books through interlibrary loan. The library is also home to the Academic Success Center, the Academic Advising Center, and the TRIO Student Support Services, which provides academic assistance to the students who need it.

The Seneca Building , which is located in downtown Bradford, houses the offices and classroom of the Division of Continuing Education and Regional Development and the Center for Rural Health Practice. It will also host a rotating display of artifacts from the Marilyn Horne archives housed at the University of Pittsburgh.[10][11]

The Richard E. and Ruth McDowell Sport and Fitness Center houses a performance arena, where basketball and volleyball play; a fully equipped fitness center; an NCAA-regulation, six-lane swimming pool; a dance studio; a fieldhouse, where students participate in intramural and other recreational activities; a physiology lab, where students perform cardiac testing or fitness analyses; and a specially equipped athletic training room.

Swarts Hall, Pitt-Bradford's first academic building, is home to several academic disciplines, including business, education, nursing, history and political science, economics and sociology. The building also houses several multimedia classrooms.

Wick Chapel, a $2.5 million, 150-seat, multipurpose, nondenominational chapel was dedicated on September 30, 2010.[12][13]


The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford offers more than 40 majors, several pre-professional programs and two graduate programs, including a Master's of Nursing and a Master's of Social Work.

The most popular majors are business management [1], nursing [2] [3], education, criminal justice [4], and biology [5]. In addition to liberal arts and sciences such as English [6], history/political science [7], biology [8] and chemistry [9], the university offers professional programs in business management [10], entrepreneurship [11], nursing [12], accounting [13], broadcast communications [14] and hospitality management [15].

Many students can also take advantage of internships or research opportunities thanks to many partnerships the university has with area businesses and industries.

At Pitt-Bradford, the faculty/student ratio is 13:1 and the average class size is 17.

The Bradford campus also offers the Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree at the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville campus.


UPB's athletics logo incorporates a "P" into an abstract Panther

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is an NCAA Division III institution and a charter member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. The school offers 15 sports: men's baseball [16], basketball [17], cross country [18], golf [19], soccer [20], swimming [21], and tennis [22] along with women's basketball [23], bowling [24], cross country [25], soccer [26], softball [27], swimming [28], tennis [29], and volleyball [30].

Students who play basketball or volleyball compete in the KOA Arena[31] while the swimming team competes in the Paul C. Duke III Aquatic Center[32], which was renovated and expanded a few years ago and features a performance arena and an NCAA-regulation, six-lane swimming pool. Both facilities are located in the university's Sport and Fitness Center that also includes a well-equipped fitness center; a fieldhouse, where students take part in intramural activities; locker rooms; and a dance studio.

Baseball, softball and soccer athletes play at the Kessel Athletic Complex [33], which features a regulation baseball/softball diamond, a competition soccer field and tennis and basketball courts.


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  2. 2010-2011 year end IPEDS endowment data
  3. 3.0 3.1 "University of Pittsburgh Fact Book 2009" (PDF). University of Pittsburgh. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "US News & World Report: Best Colleges: University of Pittsburgh-Bradford". U.S. News & World Report. 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "The Princeton Review: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford". The Princeton Review. Retrieved August 29, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "10 Satellite Campuses With Impressive Reputations All Their Own". The Best Colleges. January 3, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 University of Pittsburgh at Bradford - History, accessdate=2009-04-27
  8. Schackner, Bill (2010-02-25). "Pitt outlines plans for capital expansion". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Hundreds attend Founders' Day and Panther unveiling" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Horne archives to be housed in downtown museum" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. De Lancey, Fran (March 14, 2014). "Marilyn Horne center, Beacon Light projects go before McKean County IDA". The Bradford Era. Retrieved August 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Wick chapel dedicated at UPB". University Times. 43 (4). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2010-10-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Chapel". University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Retrieved 2009-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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