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Hillman Library was one of my favorite places on the Pitt campus. The spaces were both functional and attractive and the art displayed on every floor was very interesting. There were lots of places one could "hide" or find some privacy while studying. As a first-year student in 1968, just one year after Hillman was built, I loved spending time there.


I was an undergraduate, enrolled in the School of Nursing and a commuter. I have fond memories of sitting at "my spot" in Hillman and studying between classes. "My spot" looked over Forbes Avenue, which provided a great view of activities. Those were the days!


I was a Master of Library Science graduate student, so I spent most of my time in the SIS Library. However, I eventually found my way over to Hillman, and loved to wind my way through the rooms and stairwells to find the perfect corner to hide away. I almost never ran into anyone I knew (they were all over at SIS), so it was the ideal place to focus on my work!


I spent two years, plus in the Hillman Library on Algebra studies. My professor at the time Dr. Michael did not give up on me in all those years. What should have taken me have the time to complete took me twice as long. I will be eternally grateful to her, and to Pitt for providing a place to go to study and to learn@Hillman Library. I later found out that my iron was very low, and that is why I struggled as much as I did with completing this portion of my degree.


Hillman library introduced me to new cultures. When I was a graduate student back in the 1988-1989 academic year, I was in the stacks, probably doing research, when I first saw a Muslim student take out a prayer rug and answer the call to prayer. I wasn't very worldly back then, and I remember being impressed by a student who would openly process their faith so responsibly. Now my hometown of Columbus OH is a refuge for many Muslims escaping war and violence. But back then, before the internet, or 911, or anything, it was an eye-opening experience for me.


Each Sunday during the school term in the late 1960s and early 1970, I would pick up my fiancee (now wife) at her parents' home and we would drive to a diner for an early lunch. Following lunch, it would be off to the Hillman Library where i would study and where my fiancee would work on CCD papers (she taught CCD at her church), read or otherwise kept herself entertained until late into the evening. And while I poured over one engineering subject or another, I enjoyed her being with me as we were working on our future together.


Some years ago, I worked in Hillman Library as an undergraduate student. At Hillman Library, I met other library staff who were working towards their Master of Library and Information Science degrees. Learning about library school while "on the job" literally changed my life. I decided to go to library school at the University of Pittsburgh, in part, based on my experiences working in Hillman Library. All these years later, I still keep in touch with some of the people I worked with at Hillman Library. For those of us who worked at Hillman, this is nothing unusual.


The Hillman Library was the place to study during my years at Pitt. Most famously the fourth floor for Hyper Study. This was where you went to study intensely for finals. Most coveted by my fraternity Big Brother Pat Gentile, (now a partner at Reed Smith ) The first floor was the most social, then subsequently the second and third. But Hyper Study was where you had to be when it was make or break for the finals in Political Science! Thanks to Pats recommendation and guidance, I graduated with great grades. He went on to Law School.


I was an undergraduate lining in Tower A when Hillman Library opened, providing a much needed quiet place for serious study near the dorms. However there was occasionally a seasonal distraction from the usual solitude when the Pirates played at Forbes Field. As a Pirates fan, I would sit near the windows overlooking the old ballpark and take a peak up from my studies every time the crowds roared. Needless to say that opportunity is long gone, but etched forever among my memories of Pitt.


I worked at Hillman for a little over two years during my time at Pitt. I have so many memories with my co-workers, some of whom became lifelong friends. As crazy as this sounds, I really enjoyed working during finals week. And here is why:


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