Opinion

Stocks & Pedestal

This summer, when Jared Cohon retires from the presidency of Carnegie Mellon University, he will leave enormous shoes to fill.

Stocks & Pedestal

There was a time when, if you said, “Pittsburgh is an insular city that’s not attractive to young people,” you would have been right. Not anymore.

Stocks & Pedestal, Fall 2012

Early four years ago, businessman and philanthropist Henry Hillman called Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon with an idea. With the wealth of information technology experts at CMU, why not apply some of that brainpower to regional transportation issues? Improving transportation-​related technology could improve the lives of regional residents, build…

Billionaire by mistake

Thanks to a computer glitch in our online brokerage account, I knew what it felt like to be Mark Zuckerberg for a glorious few days.

The sky is falling

In June I bowed to the demands of my three college-​aged children and got the whole family smart phones. As I waited in line at the AT&T store, a guy behind me suggested I should get the “Siri” iPhone. “You can ask it anything, and it answers,” he said. Perhaps…

Stocks & pedestal — Summer 2012

Between Feb. 13 and April 21, 46 bomb threats struck the University of Pittsburgh. The anonymous emails closed buildings, forced middle-​of-​the-​night dorm evacuations and cancelled classes. The threats targeted the heart of our city, taking aim at the region’s most important institution.

Changing the cottage

In April, my wife and I made the 600-​mile drive to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula unusually early. We went to meet with contractors to begin fixing up the old cottage.

Neighborhood Academy /​Saks Fifth Avenue

A calling made good slowly but surely, like the Little Engine That Could, something remarkable has been climbing and climbing in Pittsburgh’s East End. It started as a vision to help children for whom effective guidance and results had been wanting.

Giving Footnotes the Boot

While I was reading an essay written half a century ago by the distinguished historian and long-​ago colleague, Peter Gay, I got to thinking about footnotes. His illuminating piece turned out to be somewhat annoying to read because of all those footnotes!

A Pittsburgh Original

At a civic event 11 years ago, I saw an unusually dapper fellow — navy pinstripe suit, rep tie and perfectly combed white hair. The fact is, I thought he was someone else. I went over and introduced myself, and he said, “Bill Dietrich.” The name meant nothing to me. But after…

Stocks & pedestal — Fall 2011

When your team’s winning, there’s nothing like baseball. Nothing like listening to the radio in the late innings of a close game. The pitcher waves off signals and finally goes into his motion.

Into the wild

What could be nicer than a family trip with all three kids just before they head off to college and my wife and I become empty nesters? This, at least, was my thinking when I signed up for a three-​day, two-​night pack trip into Yellowstone Park this summer. Ride in…

Whatever Happened to the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit?

In 1955, Sloan Wilson wrote a groundbreaking novel on the trials of working in the 1950s. “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” became a hit film starring Gregory Peck and tells the story of how a young executive works tirelessly in what would become known as the white-​collar world.

Three Places That Found Redemption

A story of redemption is a story of profound change that we make ourselves. Time won’t redeem us, nor will promises or fond memories.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Stocks & pedestal — Spring/​Summer 2006

There is a tide in the affairs of leaders. A rising tide, the saying goes, lifts all boats. It’s a low tide that you have to survive, and rare is the leader who doesn’t face one. Jim Rohr’s low tide came in 2002. After the stock market bubble had burst,…
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