Feeling Ruff? Take a Break

Anxious about the election and need a break? Pittwire has your back: Goats on slopes, a LEGO Cathedral, service puppies and other lighthearted stories from the archives that have nothing at all to do with politics.

Goats vs. slopes

In the summer of 2019, Pitt welcomed 16 goats to clear poison ivy, wild grapevines, sumac and other unwanted vegetation from the near-vertical hillsides of the Pittsburgh campus. The adorable and eco-friendly landscapers cleared hundreds of feet of brush and kept human facilities workers from the treacherous task.

One-man band

Alumnus Michael Buckstein (A&S ’18) spent the early days of the pandemic hailing from home as a one-man band playing Pitt favorites, including the alma mater and “Pitt Victory Song.”

a close-up of a tan LEGO Cathedral

A monumental task

Earlier this year, Johnmichael Bohach (A&S ’06) purchased LEGO bricks, a half-pound at a time, and worked with photos, videos and Google 3-D images of the Cathedral of Learning to re-create the structure in his home.

Striking a chord

While we’re on the subject of the Cathedral—or “Cathy” as some students call her—listen to a love song to our most famous building, written by recent alumnus Dhyan Rajamani (CGS ’20). Rajamani went on to release a full album called “Victory Lights,” composed of Pitt-themed songs.

a light tan lab-looking dog licking the check of a student in a yellow shirt and blue plaid overshirt

Canine club

In 2017, chemistry student and “puppy girl” Emma Oaks (A&S ’19) founded Perfect Fit Canines Campus Scholars—a student-run arm of service dog training nonprofit, Perfect Fit Canines Inc. The group aims to help people with disabilities live healthier, happier lives with the assistance of trained pups.

an orange cat wearing a lion mane costume

Hail to Ponzu

Speaking of therapy animals, meet Ponzu, an aspiring therapy cat. He and his owner, Mei Smyers (ENGR ’20), are familiar faces around the Pittsburgh campus.

Mister Rogers’ mentor

Margaret McFarland, an associate professor in Pitt's Department of Psychiatry, played a big role in shaping Fred Rogers and his show behind the scenes.

a woman in a Pitt band uniform sitting pensively on a bench outside the Cathedral of Learning

Drumroll, please

Meet Crissy Shannon (A&S ’20), last year’s head drum major for the University of Pittsburgh’s Varsity Marching Band—and the first woman to hold the position in the band’s 108-year history.