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Panther Parents Association
March.16 Issue

New Vice Provost and Dean of Students | Renter's Insurance Information | Student Organization Spotlight | Celebrate Responsibly Message | Therapy Dog Tuesdays | Leadership and Service Opportunities | Career Closet | Commencement 2016 | Family Weekend Announced | The Bridge: College Prep for Younger Siblings | Computer Science SteelHacks Weekend | Student Payment Center | Summer Courses | Save the Dates

Vice Provost and Dean of Students

Kenyon Bonner is Named Pitt's New Vice Provost and Dean of Students

Many of you may recognize Kenyon Bonner from his many years of Student Affairs leadership. We are pleased to announce that he will continue that leadership on a larger scale.

From Parent and Family Resources:

Renters Insurance

Getting renters’ insurance for your college student is a question that many parents and families ask each year.  ​​
Typically, residence halls are furnished with necessities like a desk, bed, and sometimes a tv. However, many students possess expensive personal items like textbooks, computers, printers, and smart phones. We hope that these items will never get damaged or stolen, but accidents and unforeseen events happen.
All families should check with their insurance agent, but typically students’ personal property will be covered under their parents’ homeowners policy if they are enrolled and living in on-campus housing. However, students who rent an off-campus apartment should consider purchasing a separate renters’ policy. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), a renters’ policy will cover damage and theft of personal property, and also insure the policy holder if someone is injured while on that property. 

Please see Pitt’s Off Campus Living site  for details regarding renters’ insurance. This site can serve as a guideline and resource, but it should not replace your insurance agent’s advice. Whether your student is living on campus or in an off campus apartment, it is best to check with your agent to confirm what coverage is or is not available to your student while at college.   

Thank you for reading this newsletter.  Please review our archived newsletters and webinars at as they contain information that will help you to support your Pitt Panther. As always, you can email Parent and Family Resources at or call 412-624-8548 if you have a concern. 

Sandy Talbott
Parent and Family Liaison

Your input is VALUED! Please complete this brief survey so that we may better serve Pitt Parents with more webinars, programs, and resources. 

Alpha Phi Omega

March’s Student Spotlight

Alpha Phi Omega, commonly known as APO, is the largest collegiate fraternity in the United States. The Beta Chapter, here at Pitt, is the oldest active APO chapter both nationally and internationally. Read more.

Celebrate Responsibly this St. Patrick's Day


Please remind your student that Student Code of Conduct will be strictly enforced, and any violations will not be tolerated. Suspension, dismissal, fines and community service could result from Student Code of Conduct violations. A criminal record could affect future employment.
Pitt Day in Harrisburg

Leadership & Service Opportunities

  • Pitt Day in Harrisburg: On Tuesday, March 22, students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends will meet with legislator’s in Pennsylvania’s capitol to share research endeavors and their Pitt experience. If you would like to attend or have questions, please click here! 
  • Emerging Leaders: It's not too late to sign up for this weekend's session, March 18-20. This engaging leadership intensive helps students to advance their know-how in group dynamics, conflict management, communication, and more applicable skills. $20 to participate with a completed registration form. 
Be A Good Neighbor Day: April 2

Saturday, April 2: Volunteer in the Community!

Faculty, staff, alumni, students, and their family members are invited to serve on Be A Good Neighbor Day! Event t-shirt and lunch provided. Click here to sign up.

Career Closet: Help Us Help Students

Over 100 students borrowed professional clothing so they could “put their best foot forward” at the recent Spring Career Fair. Read how your student can benefit from the Career Closet and how you can help continue this effort.  

Commencement — May 1, 2016

Congratulations to Class of 2016 parents and families!  Pitt’s Commencement Web site, contains useful information to help you plan for this very special occasion.
  • The Pittsburgh Marathon is scheduled for the morning of May 1— consider this when making your travel and lodging plans. 
  • Before the ceremony, pick up your special “Parent of a Pitt Graduate” decal (located at the Parent and Family Resources table within the Petersen Events Center). 
Parent of a Pitt Graduate Decal

Family Weekend 2016 Announced

Mark your calendar for Friday, September 30-Saturday, October 1.
PittAdvantage Grant
The Bridge Video

For Pitt Younger Siblings: The Bridge College Prep & Leadership Academy

July 10-15: Your high school age children are invited to strengthen their leadership skills and gain a competitive edge in the college application process through our dynamic weeklong program of activities and SAT/ACT practice (via The Princeton Review). Siblings of current Pitt students receive a special 10% off the registration fee with code PITTFAMILY. Contact with questions.
College Canines

Therapy Dog Tuesdays

On most Tuesdays from 7-8 p.m. you will find happy “College Canines” in the Cathedral Commons Room. Happier still are the students who surround them!  Volunteers from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society facilitate these special evenings with students and man’s best friend. 

SteelHacks Weekend 

The University of Pittsburgh, Department of Computer Science, hosted the second annual SteelHacks event (February 19-21) celebrating innovation and creation that focused on making “hacks” composed of software, hardware, or a combination of both. Students spent 36 hours collaborating and creating projects ranging from web and mobile apps to web sites and even robots! ​
Companies from across the country came together to sponsor the event. Sponsors included BNY Mellon, Tata Consultancy Services, Lockheed Martin, Google, UPMC Enterprises, Bossa Nova, Hewlett Packard, Code & Supply, Duolingo, .Tech, Soylent, UltraPress, and Expii. SteelHacks was a Major League Hacking member event, and the University of Pittsburgh Department of Computer Science, Swanson School of Engineering, and Carnegie Mellon’s Electrical & Computer Engineering Institute were partners in the event.

Tech talks were given to expand students’ knowledge. Included were a Women in Tech Meetup by Bossa Nova, and a React.js library tutorial by Expii. Prizes were awarded for the best hacks and a DJ was present all weekend to keep the students awake while they worked on their projects.  Students from across the country were able to participate, with a majority of students hailing from Pitt and CMU. Over 250 students came out to enjoy the free food, swag, and the excitement of creating new and innovative projects.

If your son or daughter is interested in this annual event, please encourage them to contact Mackenzie Ball at

Student Payment Center

The Student Payment Center emails, mails, and sometimes calls students and their Authorized Payers to help them avoid late fees, collection costs, and financial holds that prevent access to grades, transcripts, and registration for future terms. Review/update  your contact info to remain in strong financial standing:
  1. Authorized Payers, login to PittPAY > select User Preferences to update your email address (save the new information before you log out).
  2. Be sure to follow your email provider's instructions for adding and to your address book, safe sender list, or whitelist so our notifications do not end up in spam.
  3. Students, login to the Student Services Portal > Student Center Login > Self Service > Campus Personal Information > select and edit the information that needs to be updated.

Summer Course Session

There are so many reasons for students to take summer classes:
  1. Students can take upper-level courses to complete their degree
  2. Enroll in classes that fill quickly during the school year
  3. Wrap up general education requirements
  4. Focus on one class at a time to excel in tough courses
  5. Pick up credits online; and choose the convenient session that works with their summer plans
Learn more at

Save the Dates

  • Academic Calendar
  • Pitt Day in Harrisburg: March 22
  • Summer Job and Internship Fair: April 14
  • Career Closet Donations: April 27-30 
  • Undergraduate Finals Weeks: April 23-30
  • University Commencement: May 1 
  • Residence Halls close (except for graduating seniors): May 1
  • Pitt Starts: Summer Season
  • August 29: First day of Fall Semester (students will receive Arrival Survival and New and Transfer Student Orientation information over the summer)
  • Family Weekend: September 30-October 1
  • Homecoming 2016: October 7-9
The University of Pittsburgh
Division of Student Affairs 
Office of Parent and Family Resources
130 William Pitt Union
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | 412-624-8548

Copyright © 2015 University of Pittsburgh, All rights reserved.

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