Karen Niemic Buchheit becomes the first Director of Development.

Work begins on a thorough review and revision of the Pitt-Bradford curriculum.


Chancellor Posvar steps down. Chancellor J. Dennis O’Connor succeeds him at the helm of the university.

Presidential Medal

The Presidential Medal of Distinction, Pitt-Bradford’s highest honor, is established to commemorate individuals who have demonstrated outstanding long-term service to the college.


Dormitories are renamed after famous American authors.

Pitt-Bradford undertakes a comprehensive master planning process to create the first new physical plan for the campus since 1969. The Pittsburgh architectural firm of MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni is hired for this purpose.

The college adopts an admissions policy of rejecting further referrals from the Pittsburgh campus, preferring to concentrate on its own student-recruitment efforts.

December: The Faculty Senate and the administration approve a curriculum overhaul that revises the general-education requirements and adds new features such as the requirement for a capstone course in each major and an interdisciplinary Senior Colloquium.

December: President McDowell determines that Pitt-Bradford athletics should be moved from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to the more prestigious NCAA Division III. This transition will phase in gradually over several years.

Portraits First Year


Portraits magazine begins publication


Pitt-Bradford adopts Plan 2000, a long-range plan to take the college into the twenty-first century. The plan emphasizes a strong commitment to the liberal arts, a wider array of professional majors, and the goal of increasing enrollment to the level of 1,500 full-time-equivalent students.

The new facilities master plan for Pitt-Bradford is completed. Designed to guide campus development for the next 20 years, it identifies physical locations for the new academic buildings specified in Campaign 2000 and Plan 2000, as well as sites for additional dormitories, a chapel, and improvements to parking lots and traffic patterns.

Fitzgerald Cather Residences

Two new dormitories, Fitzgerald House and Cather House, are completed, along with new physical facilities for the campus police and for laundry services.

The curriculum reforms that were approved in 1992 take effect.


A baccalaureate completion option is added to the Nursing program.

Baily’s Beads replaces Frameworks as the student literary journal.

Annual Rural Education Outreach appropriations from the state legislature help to support Pitt-Bradford’s growing extension education programs in Northwestern Pennsylvania.


The Pre-Doctoral Minority/Cultural Diversity Fellowship Program is instituted to attract talented minority graduate students for short-term teaching positions on campus.

Pitt’s Ubiquitous Computing policy aims to give all faculty members desktop personal computers by the year 2000. The Bradford campus will meet this goal.

The Blaisdell Fine Arts Challenge, part of Campaign 2000, raises $3.4 million toward construction and operation of the proposed center for the fine and performing arts. Marilyn Horne serves as the Challenge’s honorary chair. Thanks in part to this initiative, Campaign 2000 ends on a high note, yielding a total of $10,104,665—well above the original goal.

Pitt purchases the land underlying the Onofrio Tract athletic fields.

April: The first Honors Convocation ceremony is held.

May: Chancellor O’Connor decides to step down.

September: Pitt-Bradford becomes a provisional member of NCAA Division III.


December 5: Judge John M. Cleland, president judge of the McKean County Court of Common Pleas, accepts nomination as the next chair of the Bradford Campus Advisory Board following the retirement of William Higie.


The Center for Leadership and Service Learning (today called the Office of Community Engagement) is created to encourage community service and match students with available local volunteer opportunities.

March: After long negotiations, Pitt-Bradford reaches agreement to purchase the former Roman Villa restaurant property at Dorothy Lane to provide a site for the arts center.

June 20: The Pitt Board of Trustees selects Mark A. Nordenberg, who has been serving as the acting chancellor, to be the next chancellor of the university.


Pitt-Bradford becomes a charter member of the newly formed Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference of NCAA Division III.

YCC Students

July: In cooperation with the Yokohama College of Commerce, the first delegation of Japanese students arrives at Pitt-Bradford for the Summer Intensive English Program. This venture is an early fruit of the emerging international cooperative relationship between the two schools.

Allegheny River Scholars

July: The first Allegheny River Scholars canoe trip takes place, sending a group of Pitt-Bradford students, faculty members, and administrators paddling downstream from a point just below the Kinzua Reservoir all the way to Pittsburgh.


Major renovations to the town houses begin. This project will be completed in the summer of 1999.

Rice Auditorium in Fisher Hall becomes Pitt-Bradford’s first multimedia classroom, with a full suite of audiovisual equipment and Internet connections.

Pitt’s School of Nursing makes coursework for a master’s degree in Nursing available at Pitt-Bradford.


The Tuna Valley Trail Association is founded, with strong support from Pitt-Bradford. This organization has a mission to develop a regional network of hiking and biking trails. In October, work begins on roughing out the inaugural section of trail along the West Branch, on the edge of the campus.

November: Pitt-Bradford enters into a formal sister-college partnership with the Yokohama College of Commerce, paving the way for further international exchanges of students and faculty.


The recreational facilities at the Onofrio Tract are renamed the Kessel Athletic Complex. A program of capital improvements in this section of the campus gets under way as Pitt-Bradford’s sports teams gain full membership in NCAA Division III.

Allegheny Institute Natural History

Pitt-Bradford establishes the Allegheny Institute of Natural History to conduct research and educational activities on the natural environment of the Upper Allegheny Valley.

July: The “quiet phase” of solicitations for the next capital campaign, Complete the Campus, begins.