Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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December 14, 2012

Giving Back

University Faculty, Staff, Students Offer Thanks, Assistance

This time of the year the Carnegie Mellon community finds more ways than ever to give back.

polar plunge

Taking the Plunge

From left: CMU Officer Dan Janeda, his wife, Shaina, Officer Stacy Griffin and Dispatcher Heather O'Brien ran into the Allegheny River near Heinz Field on Sunday, Dec. 2, as part of this year's Pittsburgh Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania, which raised more than $300,000. This is the second year the department has participated. CMU raised $6,468 and placed sixth in donations out of 140 teams.

Members of the department also volunteered their time and assisted with regional Special Olympics competitions last spring. In September, a Special Olympics seminar was hosted on campus for 40 volunteers who received training in order to coach, assist and mentor athletes.


Honoring Service

Capt. Thomas Calabrese, commanding officer of Carnegie Mellon Naval ROTC, greeted veterans including Bill Rodgers, Harold Huckstein and Mark Connolly, Housing operations assistant at CMU, at a flag-raising ceremony in honor of Veterans Day. The event honored the more than 200 CMU students, faculty and staff who are veterans as well as alumni and members of the local community who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The ceremony included a moment of silence for CMU alumnus Lt. Col. Christopher "Otis" Raible, who died leading a counterattack against enemy forces Sept. 14 at Camp Bastion in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He earned a degree in civil and environmental engineering from CMU in 1995 before being commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.


Toys for Tots

Jim Temple spoke about his grandmother Virginia O'Hanlon, pictured with himself as a child in the photo, at this year's Toys for Tots kickoff. O'Hanlon is famous for writing to The New York Sun when she was 8 years old to ask if there was no such thing as Santa. At the kickoff, Temple read Francis P. Church's famous response,  "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." In addition to Temple, the event featured an old-fashioned barbershop quartet, the CMU Navy ROTC unit and bagpipers. CMU students also launched a "Postcards for Patients" drive that will recognize the efforts of U.S. war veterans.

United Front

As of Dec. 3, the Carnegie Mellon community has raised $90,850 for the 2012 United Way Campaign, which wraps up Dec. 21. The United Way supports those in need through the many health and human service organizations in the region, and a special fund has been established to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
To make your donation, go to


Stocking the Shelves

This year's winning Cans Across the Cut team from Civil & Environmental Engineering included Cornelia Moore, Andrea Francioni Rooney, Ron Ripper, Dwayne Lehman, Donna Marano and Nathan Kotecki. For the 19th year, Staff Council sponsored its annual Food Drive, which donated nearly 7,400 pounds of food and $5,000 dollars to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The food bank stores and distributes food and household products to nearly 350 charitable agencies in southwestern Pennsylvania. The drive ran from Oct. 29 through Nov. 9.


Knit & Purl

The Carnegie Mellon Women's Association's Knit and Crochet Club donates hats and scarves each year to the Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh's Refugee Resettlement Services. For the past two years, the club has annually donated more than 40 items. The group meets once a month.


Kibble for Kitties

Ann Yeager, marketing director of the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center, was on hand for the Society of Automotive Engineering Race Team's event to raise awareness for the plight of abandoned cats and kittens. The students collected $200 worth of cat food for their Make A Difference Day drive dubbed "Kibble for Kitties." The event featured King's Restaurant's Frownie Brownie helping students pack food boxes for the animal shelter, and was supported by the Point Breeze Veterinary Clinic, Frick Park Market and Smiley's Pet Pad.