History

When Isabelle McClung, the daughter of a prominent Pittsburgh judge, founded the Pittsburgh chapter of the Dante Alighieri Society in 1909, she wrote all of the necessary documents in the “perfect Italian” that she had learned at Pitt. The first Musical Director of Pitt’s Marching Band (1917)Mario Rocereto, was an Italian from near Naples. The original Pitt Panther was created in 1897 by an Italian sculptor, the sienese Giuseppe Moretti, in the form of his four bronze Panther Hollow Panther sculptures. Eleonora Duse, arguably Italy’s greatest actress, died in the Hotel Schenley (now the William Pitt Union) on April 24, 1924. And Virgil Cantini, an Italian-born artist and mosaicist whose bold, colorful pieces dot Pitt’s campus, was the founder and first Chair of Pitt’s Department of Studio Arts.