The University of Pittsburgh received a pledge for $125 million, the largest gift in its history, from retired steel executive William Dietrich two weeks after he said he would donate $265 million to Carnegie Mellon University.
The gift will be in the form of a fund that begins operating upon Dietrich’s death, the Pittsburgh-based university said today in a statement on its website. Its school of arts and sciences will be renamed after Dietrich’s father.
Dietrich, 73, is the former chairman and president of Dietrich Industries Inc., a Pittsburgh-based steelmaker now owned by Worthington Industries Inc. (WOR) He is a trustee at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned master’s and doctoral degrees in political science.
“As a graduate who personally benefited from my own studies at Pitt, I want to ensure that the university can continue to provide educational opportunities of the highest quality to its undergraduate and graduate students,” Dietrich said in the statement.
His donation to Carnegie Mellon, another Pittsburgh university where he is a trustee, was the largest in that school’s history. Carnegie Mellon’s college of humanities will be named after Dietrich’s mother. The gift was announced Sept. 7.
The University of Pittsburgh was founded as a private institution in 1787 and became a state-related school in 1966, according to its website. The university has more than 35,000 students on five campuses. Former students include the late actor Gene Kelly, author Michael Chabon and Mike Ditka, a former professional football player and coach.
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