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September 28, 2011

H&SS Named After Dietrich’s Inspirational Mother

By Piper Staff

In recognition of William S. Dietrich II’s gift, the university’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences has been named the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences after Dietrich’s late mother, a homemaker who inspired and supported Dietrich throughout his life.

“My mother would be thrilled to have her name associated with this wonderful school, and it is my hope that in naming this college for her you will remember some of the values that made her life so meaningful,” Dietrich said during the ceremonial announcement.

Marianna Brown Dietrich was born on July 5, 1910, in Cherry Tree, Pa. Mrs. Dietrich is remembered for her lifelong pursuit of learning and her unconditional love and devotion to her family. She inspired her son, William Dietrich II, to explore the world and diverse new ideas — both through his extensive travels and his great enjoyment of reading and writing — and to apply that knowledge to a life dedicated to scholarship, entrepreneurship, collaboration and a deep commitment to the community.

The naming follows in the tradition set by Andrew Carnegie, who named a college for women after his mother, Margaret Morrison Carnegie.

“I find it especially fitting that we honor the memory of another remarkable woman in our new name,” wrote Dean John Lehoczky in an email to alumni.

To commemorate this new name, a plaque with an image of Marianna Brown Dietrich will be hung in Baker Hall along with plaques of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Mellon’s first president Arthur Hamerschlag.

“The naming of a college is a momentous occasion at any university,” said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. “Let me underscore now that for Carnegie Mellon, the naming of its humanities and social sciences college is especially significant. It represents a statement of the progress that H&SS has made over the last several years, especially under the leadership of Dean John Lehoczky. It’s also a statement about Carnegie Mellon’s commitment to the future of humanities and social sciences at this university.”

Lehoczky said Dietrich’s generosity and desire to name the college was a reflection of students, faculty, staff and alumni who are doing pioneering work.

“In the last year alone, our students have won many scholarships, including coveted Fulbright, Luce and German Chancellor awards. And, H&SS faculty members won a National Book Award, a Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize for Entrepreneurship’ and a Benjamin Franklin Medal in Cognitive and Computer Science,” he said. “This rich combination of faculty and student talent guarantees that the Dietrich College will be a major contributor to the important research accomplishments with huge 
societal impact being produced by 
Carnegie Mellon faculty.”