Saturday, July 10, 2010


We are just back from three days at the University of Pittsburgh, where Pitt held tours and information panels for prospective freshmen.  We all just fell in love with the place.  It's a big school with a small school feel, in an urban setting that feels more like a village.  If I had reservations about issues of safety, they have been wiped away.  The campus felt very safe, even after dark, and as long as one uses a modicum of common sense, there is little to be concerned about regarding security, even from this admittedly overprotective dad.

Of course Olivia still has to be accepted, but she really likes the school.  The people were all as delightful as we could hope.  The students who ran the unsupervised, unmonitored, and uncensored "Why Pitt?" panel were honest, open, and genuinely in love with the place, warts and all.  Even the tour in 102º F. weather (and ending in a torrential downpour) was a delight, thanks to our "Pitt Pathfinder" Amanda Washington.  Amanda is an incoming senior from Houston, Texas, and gave us an informative tour of the undergrad campus, peppered with lots of humor and good, solid answers for all of our questions.  Olivia can pursue biology there and still have room to pursue art.  She can even take up to three credit hours at any of the other colleges in Pittsburgh, including Carnegie Mellon University, as part of her Pitt curriculum and for no additional tuition.  It really seems to be a good fit.

We are still going to be looking at the other schools on Olivia's short list, but this was a very promising start.  We even learned that there's a vibrant Unitarian church within a few blocks of the Pitt campus, so assuming she has time, she can at least enjoy the company of like-minded folks every week.

Next up will be the Rochester Institute of Technology, assuming that they can answer our questions about venues for pursuing fine arts along with their excellent biology curriculum.  Fingers crossed that we have another great experience up in New York!!!

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