Pittsburgh, PA: Visit the University of Pittsburgh and you’ll see the home plate where Babe Ruth hit his last two home runs. It’s embedded in the floor of Posvar Hall, built where Forbes Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, once stood. Students go there to step on the plate for good luck before a test. Such awesome history and tradition play a big part at the school known simply as Pitt.
Whether it’s the campus in the city, the towering Cathedral of Learning, the excellent athletic programs, or the prospect of studying abroad, Pitt has plenty to boast about. For one thing, its football team plays on the same turf at Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Of course, the true draw of the university is its academic excellence. Pitt is renowned for its variety of majors as well as the strength of each one. They are always adding new offerings – my area of interest, actuarial mathematics, was just introduced as a major this past fall. The university does everything possible to accommodate students and there is even an option to attend classes at a number of area universities.
Though the University of Pittsburgh already has so much going for it, it continues to grow and improve. Over the past decade, Pitt has invested more than a billion dollars in new dorms and academic and research facilities on its five campuses.
The city of Pittsburgh has a lot to offer students, too. In addition to concerts, theater, ballet, and the symphony, there are professional baseball, football, and hockey teams in town. From parks to recreation to food galore, the city is a dynamic place to spend your college years.
The university and the city are linked in a way that benefits students. The Panther Card scores you free rides on city buses and gives you free entry to some of the area’s great museums, as well as deals at many restaurants (including the Original Hot Dog Shop, a spot that every tour guide is sure to mention for its massive yet cheap portions of French fries). For all you night owls, several downtown restaurants are half-price after 11 p.m.
Pittsburgh is truly a Renaissance city that has successfully made the leap into the twenty-first century. Today’s high-tech businesses, corporate headquarters, and health service facilities have replaced yesterday’s steel mills, yet Pittsburgh somehow maintains a small-town feel. Around every corner you’ll find a bit of history, and the University of Pittsburgh is an integral part of the that rich tradition. If you decide to check it out – and I highly recommend a campus visit – you just might find yourself looking forward to becoming a part of that tradition someday soon. Its website can be found at pitt.edu.