Chancellor Orders Up Perfect Weather for 2019 Picnic

From a stage looking over the Fifth Annual Staff and Faculty Appreciation Picnic, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher took a moment to express his gratitude to everyone who had played emergency or response roles during times of crisis over the past year, alluding to the Tree of Life shooting but also referring to numerous less-public events that occur in the life of a large, educational institution.

“Sometimes events call on us to take an extra step,” said Gallagher. “Our community stepped up in a big way.”

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If Gallagher had put in a weather request for the afternoon, he couldn’t have asked for better than the day’s clear, bright sunshine. “We finally got it right!” he said, joking that over the previous five years there had been combinations of cloudy and warm, cloudy and cool and warm and rainy.

Featuring food and games, the May 1 event drew thousands of University faculty and staff who posed for group and department photos, enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs and popcorn and hurled beanbags and rings across tables for prizes. Prizes including gift baskets, footballs signed by the head coaches of Pitt football, basketballs signed by both the men’s and women’s teams and tickets to home-game suites were raffled off to lucky winners.

  • “We finally got it right!” joked Chancellor Patrick Gallagher about how the previous years’ picnics weather had never been as ideal as the clear, bright sunshine experienced this year. (Don Henderson/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Danaisha Wilmer sits for her caricature. Wilmer, along with (from left) Leslie Gordon, Tori Gantt, Tiara Arnold and DaMonaLisa Henry, all from the Department of Housing and Dining Services, had only just begun their careers at Pitt a week before the picnic. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Megan Silagyi, Deanna Wolkiewicz and Pat Dean from the Department of Biological Sciences enjoyed lunch on the grass. “It’s nice for the chancellor to recognize employees,” said Wolkiewicz, who has attended all of his picnics so far. “You run into people you don’t see often and meet new people.” (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Stephanie Fiely (top center), director of student life at Pitt–Titusville, posed with 10 colleagues who all drove down to the Pittsburgh campus together. “A few of our employees have never been to the Pitt campus in Pittsburgh, and this was a great opportunity to travel down to interact and network with our colleagues across the University,” Fiely said. (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)
  • At a carnival game, Brandy McClain, graduate administrator in the Department of Communication, attempted to tip a cat. “This is a great way to relax after the crazy end of semester rush,” she said. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Bill Young (right), director of marketing and communications at the Pitt Clinical and Translational Science Institute, was quick to shed his sport coat on the 80-degree afternoon. Here, he enjoyed a moment with Chuck Morris (left) from the Department of Moving Services and Kevin Sheehy, director of the Department of Parking, Transportation and Services. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Nancy Poe (left) and Anne Koenig from the School of Dental Medicine kept the T-shirt line moving smoothly — and had a lot of fun doing so. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Employees from the departments of Facilities Management and Student Health enjoyed their lunch on the steps of the Cathedral. While several were attending the chancellor’s picnic for the first time, members of the entire group had attended more than 30 picnics combined. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • After opening remarks thanking the Pitt community for stepping up, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher spent time chatting with employees. Here, Gallagher spoke to Marcie Johnson (right), congratulating her on her promotion to director of Young Alumni and Student Programs, a position she started Monday, May 6; and Vicki Vernet-Lazor, business academic advisor in the College of Business Administration. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)