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Pitt's Historic Impact

The Single-Largest Gift in Pitt History


During his first news conference as Pitt trustees chair, William S. Dietrich II gently corrected reporters who addressed him as “Mr. Dietrich.” “My father was Mr. Dietrich,” he said. “I’m Bill.”

A decade later, Dietrich—a well-known and highly respected business leader, investor, author, and philanthropist—honored both his father and his alma mater (he earned his MA and PhD in political science from Pitt) by giving the University the largest individual gift in its 225-year history, a $125 million fund. It's one of the 10 largest gifts made by an individual to a public university in the United States.

On Oct. 28, 2011, three weeks after Dietrich died, aged 73, after an extended illness, Pitt trustees approved a resolution naming the University’s largest school the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences—at Bill Dietrich's request, in honor of Bill Dietrich’s father.