10 Fun Facts about the University of Pittsburgh

January 09, 2018

Are you a big Steelers fan? It’s hard not to be if you live in Pittsburgh, but I bet you’re equally excited about the Pitt Panthers. Learn more about the University of Pittsburgh with these 10 fun facts:

1. Ever wondered what that tall castle-like tower in Pittsburgh was? It’s not a church, but it is a Cathedral of Learning at UPitt!

2. Huge Shark Tank fan? There’s no need for me to introduce you to Mark Cuban then. He skipped his senior year of high school and went straight to UPitt, where he studied for a year before transferring out.

3. Just like how the Empire State Building in NYC changes its lights for special occasions, the upper section of the Cathedral of Learning illuminates gold with “victory lights” after a football team victory.

4. University of Pittsburgh used to be called the Western University of Pennsylvania before they obtained an alteration to its charter in 1908 to change its name.

5. Ever wondered why UPitt’s mascot is Roc the Panther? It wasn’t just chosen because it’s a fierce animal, but Panthers were once indigenous to the Pittsburgh region.  

6. The Cathedral of Learning is the second tallest university building in the world.

7. Famous actor & dancer, Gene Kelly,  enrolled in UPitt to study economics in 1931. He was heavily involved with the university’s Cap & Gown Club, which focuses on stage performances, during this time there.

8. UPitt’s Cathedral of Learning is such a landmark that it has been in many films including Sorority Row, Wonder Boys, and the Mothman Prophecies.

9. There’s a legend that says if couples kiss on the steps of Heinz Memorial Chapel, they are destined to be married there.

10. In 1952, Jonas Salk invented the world’s first polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh.

Applying to college next year?
View the application files, essays and advice of accepted students.

Are you looking to apply to University of Pittsburgh or just starting to build out your college list? Make sure to search through profiles of students accepted to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


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