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Dietrich donates $265 million to CMU

Bill Dietrich poses with student leaders by the Fence after the ceremony announcing his donation. (credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University) Bill Dietrich poses with student leaders by the Fence after the ceremony announcing his donation. (credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University) William S. Dietrich II, a former steel executive and current Carnegie Mellon trustee, made a $265 million gift to the university. (credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University) William S. Dietrich II, a former steel executive and current Carnegie Mellon trustee, made a $265 million gift to the university. (credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University) Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager

After several days of behind-the-scenes preparation, Carnegie Mellon announced a full day of celebratory events on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The university is celebrating a record $265 million gift from Trustee William S. Dietrich II. The Tartan will be following events, so check this page for updates throughout the day.

University leaders announce Dietrich's gift.

4 a.m.: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Carnegie Mellon has received a $265 million gift from former steel executive and current Trustee William S. Dietrich II. The gift is the largest in Carnegie Mellon's history, exceeding David Tepper's $55 million gift in 2004. According to university calculations reported in the article, it is the eighth-largest gift to a private institution in the United States. In honor of the donation, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will be renamed after Dietrich's mother, Marianna Brown Dietrich, to become the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Post-Gazette's full coverage is available at http://www.postgazette.com/pg/11250/1172681-455-0.stm.

11 a.m.: At a ceremony held on the Cut, Carnegie Mellon leaders announced Dietrich's donation and the potential consequences for the university. Speakers included Ray Lane, chairman of the Carnegie Mellon board of trustees; Jared Cohon, president of the university; Ed Frank, trustee and chairman of the Inspire Innovation capital campaign; and Aaron Gross, a master's student in information systems. Dietrich also spoke, sharing recollections of his mother and her wholehearted love for her family.

2:30 p.m.: A party was held on the patio of Baker and Porter halls, the home of the newly named Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Faculty, staff, and students all gathered to celebrate the college and its accomplishments. Free refreshments and commemorative blankets were handed out as a live band played. Notable attendees included John Lehoczky, dean of Dietrich College, and Shilo Raube, director of media relations, along with a number of Carnegie Mellon trustees. Lehoczky said he viewed the event and the endowment as a "coming-out party" for the humanities and social sciences, referencing a growing public perception of the college as an elite institution, on the same level as Carnegie Mellon's frequently recognized engineering and arts programs.

8 p.m.: Guster performed at a free concert on the Mall. Hundreds of Carnegie Mellon students attended, as well as some faculty, staff, and surrounding community members. Although the concert was scheduled to occur regardless of weather conditions, no rain interrupted the event. The band played for a little over an hour, interspersing songs with comments about Dietrich's gift and Carnegie Mellon's reputation. At the conclusion of the concert, fireworks were set off behind the stage in the direction of Hamerschlag Hall. The fireworks lasted several minutes, during which Guster played classic songs like "Stand By Me."