DEAR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS,
History is happening again at Robert Morris University. And we almost didn’t notice.
In helping to plan this year’s Homecoming and class reunions — which you may notice consume a considerable amount of real estate in this issue of Foundations, more on that in a moment — University Editor Mark Houser came upon a fact that had somehow escaped our notice: This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of RMU’s Moon Township campus.
You’ll recall that Robert Morris started life in 1921 in downtown Pittsburgh. In the early 1960s, to meet nascent demand for student housing, the school reached a deal with Oliver Kaufmann to buy his 230-acre estate, ideally situated near the recently opened Parkway West and Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. The new campus opened for business in the fall of 1963 with a classroom building, an administrative building, and three residence halls.
As Robert Morris evolved from a junior college to a college to a university, the institution’s center of gravity shifted from the Golden Triangle to the Moon campus, where this fall at least 2,000 students will live in 14 residence halls. That’s more than half of all full-time undergraduate students, and more than double the number of students who lived on campus 10 years ago.
What that means, of course, is that the experience of our students today is vastly different than the experience many of you had at Robert Morris. Many of you likely never lived on campus. You may have taken few if any classes at what is now our main campus.
But even if you never set foot on the Moon campus, you helped build it, and that’s why you should come see it — and there is no better time than Homecoming. As our Homecoming celebrations have gotten bigger and bigger, more and more alumni return to campus for the first time in decades, or for the first time at all. All of our alumni, no matter when they graduated, helped to build the Robert Morris that thrives today.
You built it through your gifts, which allow us to provide the facilities and opportunities that today’s students enjoy. You built it through your professional success, which is the foundation of our reputation as an institution of higher learning. You built it through your memories: of the William Penn, or the bowling team, or Colonial Theatre in the barn. You built it through your values, which are irrespective of time and place.
So whether you graduated in 1963 or 2003 or even 2013, come back and see what has changed since you last knew Robert Morris. We’ll celebrate our past, as well as our shared vision for the future.
See you October 19.
|GREGORY G. DELL’OMO, PH.D .