Provost's Inaugural Lectures Series

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 series has been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic but is expected to return in the Spring 2022 term.

When the series resumes, the current academic year’s Inaugural Lecture Series schedule will appear 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.

Recent Inaugural Lectures
Past Inaugural Lectures Schedule Announcements