University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

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University of Pittsburgh, Bradford
University of Pittsburgh seal.svg
MottoVeritas et Virtus (Latin)
Motto in English
Truth and Virtue
Liberal Arts
Endowment$28.5 million[2]
ChancellorPatrick D. Gallagher
PresidentCatherine Koverola
Academic staff
96 (Full-time)[3]
Location, ,
CampusRural, 319 acres (1.29 km2)
ColorsBlue and Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division IIIAMCC
UPB school logo

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, also known as Pitt-Bradford or UPB, is a 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 ranked 29th in the nation among baccalaureate colleges by Washington Monthly in 2018,[4] 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,[5][a] is named to the list of "Best Colleges in the Northeastern Region" by The Princeton Review,[7] and ranked 8th in the nation for satellite campuses with impressive reputations of their own in 2019 by The Best Colleges.[8]



Before the establishment of Pitt-Bradford, there were no institutions of higher education in the northwestern/northcentral region of Pennsylvania. Raymond N. Zoerkler, a Bradford geologist with the Hanley and Bird Company, recognized 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 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.

During the summer of 1963, Swarts and the Advisory 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: 143 full-time and 145 part-time students from all over Pennsylvania, as well as 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, and was launched with the financial support of the region, with local individuals and organizations contributing $758,000 that year. By 1964, the campus was firmly rooted in the region and the student body had grown to 380 full-time and 100 part-time students. 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. In 1966, the University of Pittsburgh, a private institution since its founding in 1787, became a state-related institution when it was designated as a member of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education.

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 new setting, just outside the city, became the site for the 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.[9]

In the early 1970s, Pitt-Bradford set its sights on building the new campus and moving its academic focus from two-year to four-year programming; the college used regional private funding to seed nearly $14 million worth of capital projects. They built Swarts Hall and Fisher Hall, the campus' first academic buildings. Other capital improvements included a residence hall complex, a sports center, outdoor recreational and athletic fields, and a student union; the first degree program, an associate of science in petroleum technology, began in 1975. Four years later, while the new physical plant was emerging, then-college president Richard E. McDowell fulfilled the goal to offer bachelor's degree programs, when the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees and the Pennsylvania Department of Education granted Pitt-Bradford baccalaureate degree-granting status.

1980s & 1990s[edit]

Due in large part to a Title III grant, Pitt-Bradford added a significant number of baccalaureate-level degree programs beginning in 1985.[9] Hanley Library opened in March 1988, and significant campus upgrades were made in the 1990s, with the addition of two 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 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 remains 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; these efforts received 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, accounted for nearly $3.5 million.[9]

21st Century[edit]

In June 2002, McDowell, who had been president since 1973 and helped UPB advance from a fledgling two-year institution to a four-year college, stepped down from his position. Three months later, the university dedicated the newly-renovated and expanded Sport and Fitness Center, a project McDowell helped to see to fruition.

In April of the following year, Livingston Alexander, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kean University in New Jersey, was named Pitt-Bradford's third president. Alexander officially assumed the presidency on August 1. Two months later, the campus community and the surrounding community dedicated the upgraded Frame-Westerberg Commons building and the academic portion of Blaisdell Hall. A year later, the second phase of Blaisdell Hall, which included the Bromeley Family Theater and the KOA Speer Art Gallery, was dedicated. During the ceremony, Marilyn Horne, internationally renowned opera star, Bradford native and supporter of Pitt-Bradford, received an honorary degree from the University of Pittsburgh, presented by Chancellor Mark Nordenberg in appreciation for her steadfast support of the university.

Throughout 2005-2006, UPB continued to grow. During this period, the campus saw the addition of Reed-Coit House and expanded its complement of academic programs with several new majors, bringing the college's number of majors to more than forty. In March 2006, the university celebrated the successful conclusion of the Complete the Campus campaign, whose $13 million goal was surpassed; the campaign supported facilities, technology, scholarships and academic programs. That year, the campus expanded when the University of Pittsburgh acquired the Seneca Building in downtown Bradford, which houses office and classroom space; the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) House was opened in 2008, strengthening the criminal justice program. The university also launched the computer information systems and technology (CIS&T) major that same year. In 2010, a new residence hall, Sarah B. Dorn House, and the Harriett B. Wick Chapel were both dedicated and opened to the campus community.

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 Center for Social and Urban Research found that the university's Bradford campus serves as an anchor institution in the region, generating $67.5 million of economic activity annually. In 2013, Pitt-Bradford marked the 50th anniversary of its founding; the year was commemorated with a bronze panther statue, located in the central quad and created by artist and Bradford native David Hodges.

In 2016, the CIS&T program received two $1 million gifts from President Emeritus Richard E. and Ruth McDowell and Zippo Manufacturing Co. [1]. The following year, the Seneca Building was renamed Marilyn Horne Hall and became the site of the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center. On June 1, 2019, Catherine Koverola, provost and senior adviser at the African Leadership University, became Pitt-Bradford's fourth president.[10]

Today, Pitt-Bradford has over 1,500 students and more than 10,000 alumni; the campus has grown to 319 acres (1.29 km2), and students matriculate from throughout Pennsylvania, including the urban centers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and from across the United States and countries around the world.[9]


The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is located in Bradford, Pennsylvania, a small city located in rural McKean County, PA, 78 miles (126 km) south of Buffalo, NY, 160 miles (260 km) north of Pittsburgh, PA, and 177 miles (285 km) south of Toronto, Ontario. An oil boomtown in the late 19th century, Bradford and two adjoining townships have a combined population of 18,000.

The 319-acre campus has 37 buildings, including fourteen residence halls, and an athletics complex.

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

The building is also home to the KOA Art Gallery, which hosts various exhibitions of traditional and new genre arts.[11]

The Ceramics 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.

Fisher Hall contains the science and engineering faculty and is the location for classes in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, petroleum technology, and energy science and technology. It is also home to the science labs; the building houses two computer-aided learning centers, known as CALC labs and, atop the building, is the campus greenhouse. Fisher Hall's chemistry and biology laboratories received nearly $6 million in upgrades in 2010.[12]

The Frame-Westerberg Commons is the student center. Positioned in front of the commons is a 10.5 foot-long (3.2m) bronze panther statue created by Bradford native David Hodges. 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 3, 2013.[13]

The Hangar Building, which actually used to be an airplane hangar, contains the Office of Enrollment Services and Registrar, the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Business Affairs. The Systems and Network Administration Practice (SNAP) lab for the CIS&T program also resides here.

Hanley Library contains more than 95,000 books. The library also provides access to 400 electronic databases, 50,000 e-journals, 300,000 e-books and other electronic resources; the Bradford campus has access to the University of Pittsburgh's scholarly resources, including 16 libraries and more than 5 million books through the University Library System. The Hanley Library is home to the Academic Success Center, the Academic Advising Center, the Writing Center, and TRIO Student Support Services, which provides academic assistance to students; the Hanley Library Cafe is located inside.

Pitt-Bradford's Marilyn Horne Hall is located off-campus in downtown Bradford, and house's the university's Marilyn Horne Museum

Marilyn Horne Hall, formerly the Seneca Building, is located in downtown Bradford and contains the offices and classrooms of the Division of Continuing Education and Regional Development and the Center for Rural Health Practice. Its ground floor is also home to the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center which displays rotating selection of artifacts from the Marilyn Horne archives housed at the University of Pittsburgh.[14][15]

The Richard E. and Ruth McDowell Sport and Fitness Center houses a performance arena, where the basketball and volleyball teams compete; a fully equipped fitness center; an NCAA-regulation, six-lane swimming pool; a dance studio; the McDowell Field House, 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, economics, history, education, nursing, political science, and sociology. The building also houses several multimedia classrooms and a CIS&T lab.

Wick Chapel, a $2.5 million, 150-seat, multipurpose, nondenominational chapel was dedicated on September 30, 2010.[16][17]


The University of Pittsburgh, Bradford is a regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh, one of four institutions composing the Commonwealth System of Higher Education; the campus' chief administrator is the President, who is assisted by an advisory board.[18] The presidents of the regional campuses, along with the heads of 10 of the university's 17 other schools and colleges, are under the purview of the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor at the Pittsburgh campus, who reports to the Chancellor.[19]

Pitt-Bradford has five academic divisions: Behavioral and Social Sciences, Biological and Health Sciences, Communication and the Arts, Management and Education, and Physical and Computational Sciences.[20]

The college offers 115 academic programs consisting of 43 majors, 50 minors, 20 pre-professional programs and two graduate programs; the largest degree programs by enrollment are biology, computer information systems and technology (CIS&T) [2], business management, nursing, and criminal justice. In addition to liberal arts and sciences such as English, history and political science, psychology, and chemistry, the university offers professional programs in accounting, broadcast communications, and hospitality management. Pitt-Bradford also confers interdisciplinary degrees in forensic science and environmental studies.[21] Graduate programs include a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Social Work; the MSN and MSW degrees are administered by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, respectively.[22]

Internship and research opportunities are also available to students, through partnerships with area businesses and industries. At UPB, the student/faculty ratio is 15:1, and the average class size is 18. All courses are taught by faculty, rather than graduate assistants; the University of Pittsburgh, including Pitt-Bradford and other regional campuses, is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[23]

International Studies[edit]

The University Center for International Studies (UCIS), located at the Pittsburgh campus, facilitates more than 350 study abroad programs in over 75 countries, providing UPB students in all majors the opportunity to participate in global education experiences. Programs offered by UCIS include: Panther Programs, with Pitt faculty developing curricula and leading students on overseas excursions, two-way exchange programs with foreign universities, and third-party programs approved by Pitt. Both the university and the Bradford campus offer scholarship opportunities for study abroad.[24]

Pitt-Bradford coordinates additional programs through the campus' study abroad office,[25] and also offers an undergraduate major in international affairs, which integrates foreign language study with coursework in politics, economics, and management.[26] UPB regularly hosts scholars from the Confucius Institute of the University of Pittsburgh, who teach courses in Chinese language and culture and organize local events.

Student Life[edit]

Pitt-Bradford is a residential college, with most students (including 86% of freshmen) living on campus in one of the fourteen residence halls. UPB has over 60 student clubs and organizations, several fraternities and sororities, and numerous intramural sports leagues. Student media include: The Source, the college newspaper, WDRQ Campus Radio, Pitt-Bradford's radio station, and Baily’s Beads, a literary magazine featuring work from the campus community.

The student union is the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The Commons houses the campus dining room, as well as the Panther Shop, which serves as the campus bookstore and also features an after-hours convenience store; the Commons Cafe, where students can get a meal while sitting by the fireplace; the mail center; a game room; meeting space for student organizations; a lounge area; and the Mukaiyama University Room, where various events are held.[27]


Student housing is primarily apartment-style and townhouse-style. There are three types of residence halls: Suites (Lester and Barbara Rice House, Reed-Coit House, Sarah B. Dorn House and Howard L. Fesenmyer House) townhouses (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).

First-year students reside in Livingston Alexander House, a $17 million, LEED-certified complex constructed in 2018 and featuring study lounges and fitness areas.[28]


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

The University of Pittsburgh, Bradford is an NCAA Division III institution and a charter member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. Pitt-Bradford student athletes compete in 14 varsity sports: men's baseball, basketball, wrestling, golf, soccer, swimming, and tennis along with women's basketball, bowling, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. UPB also has an ice hockey program, which competes at the club sports level.

The KOA Arena is home to the basketball and volleyball programs, while the swimming team competes in the Paul C. Duke III Aquatic Center, which features a performance arena and an NCAA-regulation, six-lane swimming pool; the baseball, softball and soccer teams play at the Kessel Athletic Complex, whose facilities include the baseball/softball field, soccer field and tennis and basketball courts.

Pitt-Bradford's athletic programs hold a combined 16 conference titles and have appeared in several NCAA Division III tournaments.[29]


  1. ^ After 2010, U.S. News & World Report changed its methodology and currently evaluates only the Pittsburgh campus, as Pitt-Bradford and three other regional campuses receive accreditation as part of the university, rather than independently.[6]


  1. ^ "PA Higher/Adult Ed.: State-Related Universities". Pennsylvania Department of Education. April 3, 2008. Archived from the original on September 26, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  2. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2016 to FY2017". Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "University of Pittsburgh Fact Book 2009" (PDF). University of Pittsburgh. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  4. ^ "Washington Monthly: 2018 Rankings -- Baccalaureate Colleges".
  5. ^ "US News & World Report: Best Colleges: University of Pittsburgh-Bradford". U.S. News & World Report. 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  6. ^ "How U.S. News Calculated the 2019 Best Colleges Rankings".
  7. ^ "The Princeton Review: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford". The Princeton Review. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  8. ^ "10 Satellite Campuses With Impressive Reputations All Their Own". The Best Colleges. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d University of Pittsburgh at Bradford - History, accessdate=2009-04-27
  10. ^ "New President Named for UPB and UPT". Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  11. ^ "KOA Art Gallery". Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  12. ^ Schackner, Bill (2010-02-25). "Pitt outlines plans for capital expansion". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  13. ^ "Hundreds attend Founders' Day and Panther unveiling" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  14. ^ "Horne archives to be housed in downtown museum" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  15. ^ De Lancey, Fran (March 14, 2014). "Marilyn Horne center, Beacon Light projects go before McKean County IDA". The Bradford Era. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  16. ^ "Wick chapel dedicated at UPB". University Times. 43 (4). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  17. ^ "University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Chapel". University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  18. ^ "Administration, Pitt-Bradford". Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  19. ^ "Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh". Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  20. ^ "Academic Divisions at Pitt-Bradford". Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  21. ^ "Pitt-Bradford Academic Programs". Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  22. ^ "Pitt-Bradford Fast Facts". Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  23. ^ "Fast Facts". Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  24. ^ "Pitt Global: Study Abroad". Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  25. ^ "Study Abroad - Pitt-Bradford". Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "International Affairs Program at Pitt-Bradford". Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  27. ^ "Pitt-Bradford Student Life". Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  28. ^ "Campus Living". Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  29. ^ "UPB Athletics". Retrieved January 16, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°56′39″N 78°40′23″W / 41.944200°N 78.672937°W / 41.944200; -78.672937