Provost's Inaugural Lectures Series

inaugural lecturers

The history of the Provost’s Inaugural Lecture Series goes back to 1988, when Provost Rudolph H. Weingartner established the program to celebrate the new appointments of faculty members to special chairs at the University. The intent of the program was to introduce the newly appointed faculty members, as well as their expertise, to the University community and the city.

Pitt's Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Fine Arts Elizabeth Johns delivered the first lecture in the series on January 28, 1988. Her talk, titled "From ‘Horse Trading’ to Broncobusting: Easterner and Westerner in 19th Century American Art," gave insights into American cultural history.

On April 5, 1988, Dr. James H. Herndon—then chief of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Presbyterian-University Hospital and new Dr. David Silver Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and chairman, Department of Orthopedics in School of Medicine—presented his lecture "From Health Spas to Biology and Bioengineering,” discussing historical treatments and updates on the care of people afflicted with arthritis.

More than 30 years later, the tradition of the Inaugural Lecture Series continues.

Today, just as in 1988, the event celebrates University faculty members’ appointments to endowed chairs and distinguished status with the presentation of a medallion, the faculty lecture marking the recent appointment, and a special reception with colleagues, family, and friends.

View the list of distinguished faculty at the University of Pittsburgh.

The current academic year’s Inaugural Lecture Series schedule appears below.

Dates are subject to change. Please refer to the Office of the Provost Events Calendar to confirm the date, time, and place of each lecture.

Fall 2019–Spring 2020 Schedule

Dr. Elizabeth Miller
Edmund R. McCluskey Endowed Chair in Pediatric Medical Education (Medicine)
October 1, 2019

Dr. Howard Aizenstein      
Charles F. Reynolds III and Ellen G. Detlefsen Endowed Chair in Geriatric Psychiatry (Medicine)
October 3, 2019

Dr. John Wallace
David E. Epperson Endowed Chair (Social Work)
October 31, 2019

Dr. David Lewis
Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry (Medicine)
November 5, 2019

Dr. Volker Musahl    
Blue Cross Western Pennsylvania Endowed Chair (Medicine)
November 8, 2019    

Dr. Toren Finkel     
G. Nicholas III & Dorothy B. Beckwith Chair in Translational Medicine (Medicine)
November 18, 2019    

Dr. Paul Patterson
James O. Page Professor of Emergency Healthcare Worker Safety (Medicine)
December 5, 2019

Dr. John A. Kellum
Endowed Chair in Critical Care Medicine Research (Medicine)
December 9, 2019    

Dr. Shaun M. Eack    
James J. and Noel W. Browne Endowed Chair (Social Work)
December 19, 2019    

Prof. Anthony Infanti    
Christopher C. Walthour, Sr. Professorship of Law (Law)
January 23, 2020    

Dr. Carla Nappi    
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History (Arts & Sciences)
February 6, 2020    

Dr. Aman Mahajan
Dr. Peter and Eva Safar Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care
March 26, 2020 POSTPONED, Check back for rescheduled date

Dr. Giovanni (Paolo) Galdi    
Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (Engineering)
April 9, 2020 POSTPONED, Check back for rescheduled date  

Dr. Jeanne Marie Laskas
Distinguished Professor of English (Arts & Sciences)
April 30, 2020 POSTPONED, Check back for rescheduled date

Dr. Christian Wildberg
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classics
May 7, 2020 POSTPONED, Check back for rescheduled date

Updated March 12, 2020

View a PDF of the 2019–2020 Inaugural Lectures Schedule Announcement »

Recent Inaugural Lectures

Past Inaugural Lectures Schedule Announcements