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October 13, 2011

University Mourns Loss of Bill Dietrich

Bill DietrichLongtime trustee, university benefactor and Pittsburgh entrepreneur William S. Dietrich II, who last month made the largest gift in Carnegie Mellon history, died of complications from cancer on Oct. 6. He was 73.

"Carnegie Mellon University will be forever grateful to Bill for his service and philanthropy. Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh have lost a great friend," said President Jared L. Cohon.

On Sept. 7, the university announced and celebrated Dietrich's historic $265 million gift. An immediate impact of the gift was the naming of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences in honor of his inspirational mother, Marianna Brown Dietrich. His gift will benefit and forever change the entire university.

Cohon equated Dietrich with the likes of Andrew Carnegie and the Mellons.

"He was a prominent Pittsburgh entrepreneur and philanthropist, like those he wrote about in his book 'Eminent Pittsburghers.' Bill's business acumen brought him great success in leading his family's company, Dietrich Industries, to become the nation's largest manufacturer of light metal framing for the construction industry.

"Bill's dedication to Carnegie Mellon was unwavering as was his commitment to Pittsburgh," Cohon said.

For more on Dietrich, go to