Point Park University: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PPlogo STAK 1Color CMYK.jpg
Motto Pro Arte / Pro Communitate / Pro Professione
Established 1960
Type Private university
Endowment $21 million[1]
President Dr. Paul Hennigan
Undergraduates 3,376
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Urban
Athletics NAIA
Colors Green, White, and Gold
Website www.pointpark.edu

Point Park University is a liberal arts university located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Formerly known as Point Park College, the school name was revised in 2004 to reflect the number of graduate programs being offered.

Point Park is an independent, four-year, co-educational institution located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh. Point Park currently enrolls 3,986 full- and part-time students in 83 undergraduate programs and 13 graduate programs offered through its School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication and Conservatory of Performing Arts. Its students represent 45 states and 31 countries.



  • Point Park was founded in 1960 and recorded 3,846 students in the 2008-09 academic year, including several hundred graduate students.[2] The two largest master's degree programs are the M.B.A. program in the School of Business, and the M.A. in journalism and mass communication in the School of Communication.
  • The university is on the semester system and has four schools: Arts & Sciences, Business, Communication, and The Conservatory Of Performing Arts.
  • The university is known primarily for its Conservatory of Performing Arts, which attracts students from around the world. Its undergraduate dance and musical theatre program has been rated the best and among the best in the United States. Student and professional performances are held at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, the Performing Arts Center of Point Park University, which has three separate performance spaces and is located in the Oakland neighborhood.
    Point Park University Conservatory of the Performing Arts' production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's, "Carousel"
  • The university is home to the Innocence Institute, which was founded by its director William R. "Bill" Moushey Jr. to investigate and challenge possible wrongful criminal convictions so that they might be overturned in the interest of justice. As of mid-2007, it was one of only two journalism-oriented innocence institutes in the United States (the other is at Northwestern University)[citation needed]; all others are affiliated with law schools. All articles produced by the Innocence Institute through mid-2007 were offered for publication to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette daily newspaper, Point Park's former partner in the Institute. Moushey was the Finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting.
  • The university's School of Communication offers the most extensive curricula (more than two dozen courses) in photojournalism and photography of any department or school of journalism/mass communication in the United States.[citation needed]
  • The School of Communication currently is home to the quarterly Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, one of the three major, international, scholarly journals published by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Its editor is Dr. Dane S. Claussen, a full Professor who also the School's Director of Graduate Programs & Faculty Development. The School of Communication also is home to the International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies, a semi-annual, refereed, scholarly journal published by the Information Resources Management Association in cooperation with IGI-Global. Its editor is Dr. Tatyana Dumova, associate professor of digital media.
  • The School of Communication, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review daily newspaper, runs the Point Park News Service. Undergraduate and graduate journalism students write articles that are offered to, and sometimes published in, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review or its afternoon paper, the TribPM. The School is one of only about a dozen journalism programs in the United States, along with University of Maryland, University of Missouri, Columbia University, Northwestern University, and several others with a journalism student-staffed news service.[citation needed]
  • The University is one of only six in the United States with a joint M.A. (journalism/mass communication)/M.B.A. program. The others are Boston University, Columbia University, Southern Illinois University--Carbondale, University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, and University of Texas at Austin.
  • The university's independent weekly student newspaper is The Globe.
  • The university's student-produced television newsmagazine is "Wood Street Connection."
  • The university's student radio station is WPPJ.
  • The university's student literary magazine is The Cavalcade.
  • The university's journalism course-produced news magazine is The Pioneer.
  • On February 1, 2007, The university launched "U-View", Point Park's closed circuit news and entertainment TV station.

Point Park campus

Lawrence Hall contains residence halls, offices, and classrooms.

Point Park is located in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is situated about half a mile from Point State Park in the city's Golden Triangle.

The school is in the midst of the business district in the shadow of PPG Place, one of the skyline's most recognizable buildings. The physical campus is mostly vertical, with buildings scattered intermittently among non-school structures. Point Park also owns the Pittsburgh Playhouse in the Oakland neighborhood. The school has used the phrase "Pittsburgh is our campus" in its literature.[3]

Because of its Downtown locale, the school is within walking distance of the Cultural District and the city's sports facilities, PNC Park, Mellon Arena, and Heinz Field. It is also close to Pittsburgh's major nightlife areas on the Southside, in Station Square, and in the Strip District. Approximately 30 percent of full-time undergraduate students live on campus. The majority of Point Park students commute from nearby neighborhoods.

With ten existing buildings and additional properties that run from the Monongahela River to Forbes Avenue, the University has one of the largest footprints in Downtown Pittsburgh.


Point Park University has emerged from past financial challenges as a leader in career-focused education with a growing student population. And with the introduction of its Academic Village iniative in 2008, Point Park has evolved into one of the largest investors in Downtown Pittsburgh development.



The university began as a one-room business training college in 1933 with an initial enrollment of 50 students, under the direction of Dorothy Finkelhor, a New York native, and L. Herbert Finkelhor. At the time, it was notable for a woman to found such an institution. Finkelhor provided her students with business and secretarial skills. At the same time, she served in multiple roles as teacher, the dean of women, social chairman, janitor, telephone operator, admissions and finance director, and registrar.

Becoming a college

By 1960, the business school had grown to nearly 880 students and moved to the university’s current academic center, Academic Hall, on Wood Street in central Downtown Pittsburgh. The Finkelhors’ small secretarial school became Point Park Junior College, named for the city’s historic Point State Park. The junior college added two-year programs in engineering technology, education, and journalism. It also acquired performing arts space at The Pittsburgh Playhouse in the Oakland neighborhood. Five years later, the college was granted four-year status, officially becoming Point Park College.

Flags lining the campus

Thirty-four years after forming the college, Dorothy Finkelhor retired in 1967. The school’s reins remained within the family as son-in-law Arthur M. Blum assumed the presidency. Blum purchased the Sherwyn Hotel, a 20-story building across from Academic Hall, which became David L. Lawrence Hall. The hall currently contains most of the school’s social and entertaining facilities as well as classrooms, offices, and dormitories.

1970 financial crisis

Blum’s Lawrence Hall investment continues to benefit the school. Blum also established a campus in Lugano, Switzerland and bought a conference center in Sewickley park, and a conference center in Mercer County, PA.

John V. Hopkins succeeded Blum, inheriting a school in arrears and with dwindling admission. By May 1973, desperate faculty members forewent their paychecks as part of a collaborative effort to save the college. Eventually, the sacrifice became success. Hopkins closed the Swiss campus and the conference center and completely reorganized Point Park’s finances.


With the budget climbing out of the red, the school began a slow healing process into the 1980s. Enrollment grew beyond 1,000 students as dance and theatre programs were introduced. These programs laid the groundwork for Point Park’s current Conservatory of Performing Arts. At the same time, the school introduced its first postgraduate degree, a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication.

J. Matthew Simon served as the college’s next president from 1985 to 1994, providing nearly a decade of relative calm in the institution’s turbulent history. Simon oversaw the acquisition of a new library, program growth, and the school’s largest endowment. Simon retired in 2007, having taught at Point Park as a professor in the department of Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology after his tenure as president.

1994 Crisis

Another crisis came with the election of James Hunter as president. Hunter, Point Park’s most controversial leader, served for a little over a year but managed to garner outcry for an admissions scandal and a breakdown of communication within the school.

At the same time, growth remained slow in the city, and Pittsburgh’s economy still had not recovered from the collapse of the steel industry. The college’s finances suffered, and Point Park again neared bankruptcy. Negotiations began with Duquesne University to sell what remained of Point Park College to the larger school.

Hunter resigned amidst the melee, and Katherine Henderson won the approval of the board of trustees soon after.

Growth and change

Henderson implemented a strategic plan to revive the college. Plans to sell the school were abandoned as Henderson began another procedural overhaul.

Henderson’s tenure became the most successful for Point Park. During the late ‘90s, budget woes disintegrated as enrollment rose to over 3,000 students and the endowment grew by over 200 percent. Point Park finished major renovations of its existing buildings soon after the turn of the century.

By 2004, the school hit a new high water mark and successfully applied for university status. It was officially renamed Point Park University that year and the administration began an aggressive $1 million branding campaign to attract more enrollment.

Henderson retired in 2006 while on a self-imposed sabbatical.

Current efforts

The board of trustees officially named Paul Hennigan as Henderson's permanent successor at the beginning of the 2006 fall term. Hennigan has continued the process of creating a new strategic plan. As part of the plan, the university has purchased several Downtown properties for development. The school is also poised to become a key player in the city's efforts for Downtown revitalization, owning properties along the coveted Fifth and Forbes streets corridor.[4]

Most recently, the school partnered with a private contractor to renovate two historic buildings into suite-style residence halls. One of these residence halls became home to a Starbucks in August 2007. The coffee shop is the first full-service retail entity incorporated into Point Park's campus.

In addition, construction on a state-of-the-art dance facility is schedule to be complete by fall 2007. A Web cam showing the building's progress is available on Point Park's Web site.

The university is also set to create a "New Academic Village" in the coming years, in order to make the school, and downtown, a vibrant area for students. For more info, log on to the Point Park University Web site

University statistics


Point Park University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Higher Education and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


Freshmen Admission:

  • 2,790 applied
  • 2,177 admitted
  • 1,491 enrolled
  • Average high school GPA 3.22

Test scores:

SAT verbal scores over 500 63%
SAT verbal scores over 600 19%
SAT verbal scores over 700 2%
SAT math scores over 500 54%
SAT math scores over 600 13%
SAT math scores over 700 1%
ACT scores over 18 89%
ACT scores over 24 31%
ACT scores over 30 1%

Student Enrollment 3,986 for Fall 2009, which represents a 17 percent increase since 2005. Overall, enrollment has grown by nearly 50 percent within the past decade.

Student Demographics Age 69 percent of our undergraduate students are traditional age (18-24-year-olds) 31 percent of our undergraduates are non-traditional (25 years old or older)

19 percent of our graduate students are traditional age (18-24-year-olds) 80 percent are non-traditional age (25 years old or older)

State of residency 83 percent of undergraduate students and 97 percent of our graduate students are from Pennsylvania. (Of the 2,460 traditional students who enrolled at Point Park in the fall, 77 percent are from Pennsylvania and 49 percent are from Allegheny County.)

1 percent of our undergraduates and 7 percent of our graduate students are international students

Race/ethnicity Undergraduates 76 percent of our undergraduates are white 22 percent of undergraduates are African-American 2 percent are Hispanic 1 percent is Asian

Graduate students 66 percent of our graduate students are white 24 percent are African-American 2 percent is Asian 7 percent are international

Residential Population Students living on campus: 875

According to the most recent survey of Point Park graduates, 84 percent of them were employed full time and 83 percent were living in Pennsylvania.

Annual Operating Budget $82.7 million (FY 2010)

Economic Impact According to a 2005 study conducted by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Point Park University infuses more than $73 million into the southwestern Pennsylvania economy annually. The University has its biggest economic impact in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Student Satisfaction The University’s student-satisfaction results have been continually on the rise in recent years. Part of this is attributed to the University’s investment of $32 million in capital improvements to enhance the quality of life for students, faculty and staff. Within the last two years, student satisfaction ratings increased on 71 of the 80 question items considered -- or 89 percent.

Faculty/Staff 1,125

Tuition Students enrolled full time in the University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts -- $25,714

Non-COPA tuition for full-time students -- $21,334

Room and board -- $9,020

Financial Aid 98 percent of our traditional students and 85 percent of our non-traditional students receive financial aid

Programs 83 Undergraduate Programs and 13 Master’s Degree Programs

Conservatory of Performing Arts Long known for a first-class performing arts program, Point Park University attracts students from around the country to its Conservatory of Performing Arts (COPA). Only 7 percent of those who audition for the program are accepted. The University’s dance program recently moved into a new, LEED Gold certified Dance Complex, reflecting ongoing effort to provide the best performance and training environments for students, while remaining environmentally sensitive. The Cinema and Digital Arts program is one of only a few all High Definition film production programs in the country. Students enrolled in this program produce more than 300 films per year.

The University's alumni have done well. Point Park can boast alumni who have served as executives in the banking, entertainment, sports and media industries, and a number of other arenas. Dennis Miller of "Saturday Night Live" fame is an alumnus, as is his brother, Jimmy, a Hollywood agent who has represented a number of big-name clients. The former CEO of National City Bank is a Point Park graduate, as is the head of concessions for the New York Mets. Our long-strong Journalism and Mass Communications program also boasts a number of well-placed alumni who are working for print and broadcast media outlets around the country.

Total Alumni: 21,780


Point Park University offers eight degrees:

  • Associate of Science (A.S.)
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
  • Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Business Administration (concentrations in Management; International Business; Management Information Systems; and Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management)
  • Master of Arts in Journalism & Mass Communication (thesis and non-thesis options; coursework in public relations, print journalism, broadcast journalism, advertising, and other areas of mass communication)
  • Dual Master of Arts in Journalism & Mass Communication and Master of Business Administration (M.A./M.B.A.) in Public Relations & Advertising Management
  • Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction
  • Master of Arts in Educational Administration
  • Master of Education in Teaching and Leadership
  • Master of Education program leading to Secondary Certification
  • Master of Science in Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Environmental Studies
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
  • Master of Fine Arts in Theater Arts
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Undergraduate degree programs

Program Offered Degrees
Arts and


  • Education & Community Services - Early Childhood Education - B.A.
  • Elementary Education - B.A.
  • Secondary Education – Citizenship - B.A.
  • Secondary Education – English - B.A.
  • Secondary Education – Mass Communication - B.A.
  • Secondary Education – Biology - B.S.
  • Secondary Education – Mathematics - B.S.
Humanities and

Human Sciences

  • Applied History - B.A.
  • Behavioral Sciences - B.A.
  • English - B.A.
  • Global Cultural Studies - B.A.
  • Legal Studies (Capstone) - B.A.
  • Political Science - B.A.
  • Psychology - B.A.
Journalism and

Mass Communication

  • Advertising and Public Relations - B.A.
  • Broadcasting (television and/or radio) - B.A.
  • Journalism (print) - B.A.
  • Mass Communication/New Media Technology - B.A.
  • Photography - B.F.A.
  • Photojournalism - B.A.
  • Integrating Marketing Communications (accelerated) - B.S.
Natural Sciences and

Engineering Technology

  • Allied Health - A.S.
  • Civil Engineering Technology - A.S.
  • Electrical Engineering Technology - A.S.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology - A.S.
  • Biological Sciences - B.S.
  • Biotechnology - B.S.
  • Biotechnology (Capstone) - B.S.
  • Civil Engineering Technology - B.S.
  • Electrical Engineering Technology - B.S
  • Environmental Health Science and Protection - B.S.
  • Health Services (Capstone) - B.S.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology - B.S.
  • Accounting - A.S.
  • Business Management - A.S.
  • Information Technology - A.S.
  • Public Administration – AS.
  • Accounting - B.S.
  • Business Management - B.S.
  • Business (Saturday Fast) Accelerated - B.S.
  • Information Technology - B.S.
  • Information Technology & Management Accelerated Program - B.S.
  • Management Services (Capstone) - B.S.
  • Public Administration - B.S.
  • Sport, Arts and Entertainment Management - B.S.
Conservatory of

Performing Arts

  • Applied Arts (Capstone) - B.A.
  • Screenwriting - B.A.
  • Cinema and Digital Arts - B.A.
  • Dance Pedagogy - B.A.
  • Dance (with a concentration in Ballet, Modern or Jazz) - B.A.
  • Theatre Arts - B.A.
Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice - B.S.
  • Criminal Justice (Accelerated) - B.S.
  • Criminal Justice (Capstone) - B.S.
  • Intelligence and National Security - B.S.
  • Law Enforcement - B.S.
  • Professional Studies (Accelerated) - B.S.
General Studies
  • General Studies (Capstone) - B.S.
  • Funeral Service (Capstone) - B.A.
  • Human Resources Management - B.S.
  • Professional Studies (Accelerated) - A.S.


WPPJ (670 AM) is Point Park University's campus radio station. This unlicensed carrier-current station was established in 1967 and is known as "The Voice of Point Park". It is a co-curricular activity for students with an interest in radio, news, sports, contemporary/popular music, media sales and promotions. WPPJ also serves as a training facility for students of any major who desire a career in professional broadcasting. The station is an open-format college radio station, playing primarily indie rock and hip-hop, with a fair number of sports and talk radio shows. The music department charts independent artists with CMJ. The 28th Annual WPPJ Rock-a-Thon was held from October 28-31, 2008 at the university, raising over $3,700 for the Early Learning Institute, a charity for families in Allegheny County, due to the efforts of sales director, Anthony Pignetti.


Point Park University currently sponsors nine National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics teams, called the Pioneers. The school is a member of the American Mideast Conference, the largest conference in the NAIA. Men's sports include Basketball, Baseball, Cross Country, and Soccer. Women's sports include Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Softball, and Volleyball

Maps and aerial photos of school's location

Notable Alumni

International Summer Dance Alumni

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address