The University of Pittsburgh is old. Real old. In fact, while the Founding Fathers were dicking around drafting our constitution, Pitt, or the Pittsburgh Academy as it was called then, was teaching the simple mountain folk of Western Pennsylvania everything they needed to know about reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic (coincidentally, these are the only three classes taught at WVU). In its illustrious history, Pitt has educated business moguls, Hall of Fame football players, and even reality TV stars. Here’s our list of the best.
10.) Andrew Mellon: Calculated for inflation, Mr. Mellon’s net worth was equal to $50.5 billion dollars today, which is almost enough to cover our student loans. A self-made man, Mellon later went on to serve as the Secretary of the Treasury. We would’ve put Andy higher up on this list except he never technically graduated from Pitt and his name is on the school that makes us look like a bunch of slackers, Carnegie Mellon.
9.) David Newell: We know what you’re thinking, “who the hell is that guy?” Maybe you know him as your favorite package delivery man from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. That’s right, Mr. McFeely was a Pitt alum, though with a name like McFeely, we would’ve taken him for a Penn State grad.
8.) Jenna Morasca: Unless you’re a fan of the show, you probably wouldn’t know that Morasca was the million-dollar grand prize winner of Survivor: The Amazon. Her big moment came when she exposed herself in order to receive peanut butter and chocolate, something she had already done in South Oakland during her days as a sorority sister. Also, we’re sure our gentlemen readers will appreciate hearing that she has a tasteful spread in the August 2003 issue of Playboy.
7.) Art Rooney II: Pittsburgh born, Pittsburgh raised, Pittsburgh educated. Rooney’s family has owned the Pittsburgh Steelers for the team’s entire history bringing the city six Super Bowls and enough glory to fill a Primanti’s sandwich. Any yinzer worth their weight in IC Light worships Rooney and would no doubt get hit by a PAT bus for him. Also, he hands over the keys to Heinz every Saturday in order for us to tailgate and (maybe) watch some football, which, knowing our status as functioning alcoholics, is mighty kind of him.
6.) Larry Fitzgerald: Lighting Legs Larry (totally his nickname), the first of this list’s athletes, is the Pitt record holder for most receiving yards in a season and the star wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. He had his number retired last season in a ceremony that gave even the most heterosexual males the boner of a lifetime. All in all, Larry is just a great guy who knows how to catch one hell of a football.
5.) Wangari Muta Maathai: While we’re not quite sure how to pronounce her name, Dr. Maathai certainly deserves her spot on this list. All jokes aside, this lady did a lot of good during her time on Earth, mainly in the field of environmentalism. She was the first African woman and first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Think about that next time you crack open a lukewarm Natty Light in a musty Dithridge basement you failure.
4.) Mike Ditka: Tough as nails tight end, Super Bowl champion coach, and owner of the world’s greatest mustache. It’s hard to imagine Big Ditka walking the halls of our humble school, but it’s easy to see how he would fit in with yinzers given his love of cigars and kielbasa. Back in the day we’re sure the ladies on campus really loved his kielbasa. *wink* The Coach also gets bonus points for turning down both Notre Dame and Penn State (may their universities rot in hell) and instead becoming a Panther.
3.) Dan Marino: Dan the Man (too easy?) is without a doubt the greatest quarterback to play for Pitt. Marino and his beautiful brown curls, were able to lead Pitt to two unofficial national titles (and you thought the BCS Championship was bullshit). Marino went on to be the greatest quarterback in Miami Dolphin history despite a lackluster appearance in Super Bowl XIX. It’s okay Dan, you’re an (unofficial) champion in our hearts.
2.) Gene Kelly: He sang. He danced. He went to Pitt. For a while, good ol’ Gene was Hollywood’s go to guy when they needed a suave, charming, leading actor. He’s best known for his performances in Anchors Aweigh, An American in Paris, and Singin’ in the Rain, which was inspired by Kelly having to hone his talents in the unpredictable Pittsburgh weather (totally a true story, don’t you dare call bullshit). Feel free to visit his star on Forbes Avenue, it’s right in front of the William Pitt Union.
1.) Tony Dorsett: No one has brought more athletic prestige to Pitt than Dorsett. He led us through an undefeated season and to our latest legitimate national championship in football, which makes him the best in our book. He’s got too many accolades to list, but his Heisman win in 1976 is definitely the pinnacle of his college career. Compared to the Pinnacle consumed during your college career, he had a lot more going for him.