Chatham News

Chatham receives $5 million gift from William S. Dietrich II

The generous gift from the businessman, scholar, and philanthropist will create an endowed fund for faculty excellence

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
October 17, 2011

PITTSBURGH (October 17, 2011) … Chatham University has received a $5 million gift from the late businessman, scholar, and longtime Chatham trustee William S. Dietrich II. The Dietrich Endowment for Faculty Excellence will be formed and supported by Mr. Dietrich’s generous gift.

The source of the fund that will ultimately benefit Chatham University is the Dietrich Charitable Trusts, created by Mr. Dietrich from assets principally generated by the 1996 sale of Dietrich Industries. As was Mr. Dietrich’s intention upon his passing it is anticipated that the assets of the trusts will fund a new charitable entity, The Dietrich Foundation, which will administer the fund benefiting Chatham University.

Dr. Esther L. Barazzone, president of Chatham University, announced the gift to Chatham’s Board of Trustees and faculty on October 13. Present for the announcement was Ms. Anne Dietrich Diemer, Mr. Dietrich’s daughter, and her husband Michael. Also in attendance was Mr. Edward J. Grefenstette, chief investment officer of The Dietrich Charitable Trusts. Mr. Dietrich, who died on October 6 after a battle with cancer, was to have been honored in person on the occasion.

The Dietrich Endowment for Faculty Excellence will enable current and future faculty to compete for resources that will recognize their academic and research accomplishments and extend their horizons. In her remarks to faculty and trustees, President Barazzone was pleased to announce the creation of the Dietrich Endowment for Faculty Excellence, which will be an endowment that will grow through the years with the Dietrich Foundation’s annual distributions. Citing Mr. Dietrich’s lifelong pursuit of learning and his proclivity to always strive for excellence in his professional endeavors, she noted that the purpose of the fund in his honor is most appropriate.

The William S. Dietrich Endowment for Faculty Excellence
The William S. Dietrich Endowment for Faculty Excellence is intended to support faculty excellence at Chatham. The Endowment will initially support such initiatives as funding a startup laboratory for new faculty; summer stipends for faculty doing research, especially with students; research assistance for faculty with their scholarship; and finally, hiring faculty whose distinction commands a salary beyond what Chatham normally would provide, particularly faculty of broad cross-disciplinary scope. Eventually it will fund a chair in Mr. Dietrich’s name. Because Mr. Dietrich’s remarkable career as a captain of industry and a publishing historian, the Endowment will allow Chatham to hire a faculty member whose scholarship, research, and teaching transcend traditional academic “silos.”

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu .