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Archives & Special Collections Exhibits

Guide on Past and Current Archives & Special Collections Exhibits @ the University of Pittsburgh Library System - Oakland (2020-present)

“United We Rise”: Celebrating the University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council (Fall 2022)

Date of Exhibition: Fall 2022 - Summer 2023 

Curator: The University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council History and Archives Committee, Pam Heywood, Chairperson

Location: Archives & Special Collections exhibit gallery, 3rd floor Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh 3960 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Description: In the tumult of 1968, a group of students gathered to form what would become the Black Action Society.  Their goal was to advocate for the concerns, needs and interests of Black students at the University of Pittsburgh and members of the local African American community. 

This small group grew and on Jan. 15, 1969, 48 students staged a sit-in in the eighth-floor computer center in the Cathedral of Learning, to insist that specific demands be met to improve Black life on campus. 

Today, the African American Alumni Council (AAAC), through its theme, “United We Rise,” continues its mission to promote a spirit of community, loyalty and support among African American alumni, to strengthen their connection to the University of Pittsburgh, and to promote the recruitment, retention and graduation/advancement of African American students, faculty, staff and administration at the University of Pittsburgh. 

The African American Alumni Council’s History and Archives Committee has curated a few artifacts, from personal collections and the University of Pittsburgh Library System’s University Archives holdings, to help document the rich history of the council.  We hope that you enjoy the exhibit. 


“Homecoming Celebrates 50 Years of Pitt’s African American Community Progress,” Pittwire, University of Pittsburgh, September 26, 2018,  

"Pitt African American Alumni Council,” Pitt Alumni, University of Pittsburgh Philanthropic & Alumni Engagement, 2022,  

Exhibit Photographs

Pamela E. Haywood, African American Alumni Council History and Archives Committee Chairperson 

University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni members Pamela Heywood (IS ’85, GSPIA ‘94) and Caryn Fleming (CAS ’86) install the exhibit.