Mark A. Nordenberg, chancellor emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh, will be the keynote speaker at the 2017 Commencement ceremony April 30 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
Commencement will be held at 2 p.m. in the KOA Arena.
Nordenberg, who also served as dean of the School of Law and interim provost, is currently chairman of Pitt’s Institute of Politics, a position he has held since January 2015.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that Chancellor Nordenberg will inspire our graduates to capitalize on what they’ve learned and lead lives of impact,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford.
“As one of the pre-eminent leaders of our times, Chancellor Nordenberg will have a lot to share about how to succeed in a complicated, constantly changing environment.”
Nordenberg came to Pitt as a member of the law school faculty in 1977 and built a reputation as an outstanding teacher. The School of Law awarded him its inaugural Excellence in Teaching Award, and he was among the first faculty members to receive the university-wide Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
After serving stints as Dean of the School of Law from 1985 to 1993 and interim provost, university trustees elected Nordenberg interim chancellor in 1995. The following year, the board chose him to be the university’s 17th chancellor, a position he held for 19 years.
During his tenure as chancellor, Nordenberg led Pitt through one of the most impressive periods of progress in its 229-year history. Applications for admission to the undergraduate programs in Pittsburgh soared from fewer than 8,000 to more than 30,000. Annual research expenditures climbed from less than $250 million to a peak of more than $800 million, with Pitt rising to a top-five national ranking in terms of federal research support. The university also successfully completed a $2 billion fundraising campaign.
Throughout his career, Nordenberg has been active in civic affairs. Pittsburgh Magazine named him Pittsburgher of the Year and Co-Pittsburgher of the Year in 1999 and 2001, respectively. In 2009, the Sen. John Heinz History Center honored him with the History Makers Award.
To celebrate the remarkable progress achieved during his first decade as chancellor, trustees, alumni leaders and other friends contributed $2.5 million to endow a professorship in his name in 2005. In 2012, Pitt trustees announced the naming of the Mark Nordenberg residence hall and the Nordenberg Leadership Scholarship Fund, supported by more than $6 million in private gifts.
In 2014, Pitt-Bradford gave Nordenberg its highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Distinction, for his significant support of the regional campus. He was a frequent visitor to the Bradford campus during his tenure as chancellor, along with his wife, Dr. Nikki Pirillo Nordenberg, to whom he has been married for 45 years. The Nordenbergs are parents to three adult children and grandparents to four young grandsons.