The University of Pittsburgh, originally named the Pittsburgh Academy, began life in a log cabin on the edge of the American frontier.

The driving force behind Pitt’s foundation was Hugh Henry Brackenridge, a person of remarkable foresight and vision. He had high hopes for Pittsburgh, noting, “this town must in future time be a place of great manufactory. Indeed the greatest on the continent, or perhaps in the world.”

The Pitt Panther
The University of Pittsburgh adopted the panther as its mascot.
Pitt adopted the panther as its mascot at a meeting of students and alumni in the fall of 1909. The panther was adopted for five reasons:
» The panther was a fearsome animal & indigenous to the area
» It was historically considered noble
» The happy accident of alliteration
» Panthers can be naturally gold in color, thus matching one of Pitt’s colors
» No other college or university had a panther mascot at the time