Statement from Duquesne University President Ken Gormley on the Passing of Carl G. Grefenstette

The Duquesne University community mourns the passing of alumnus and former board member, Carl G. Grefenstette, one of its most prominent graduates. Duquesne President Ken Gormley issued the following statement:

"Along with all at Duquesne who knew, admired and benefitted from the influence of Carl G. Grefenstette, I was greatly saddened to learn of his passing on Saturday. Carl was a very special person of enormous accomplishment and generosity. He was nationally respected as a business leader, known for the high ethical standards he modeled and insisted upon in his work, in addition to being a leader among generations of Duquesne graduates.  

"Carl served on Duquesne's board of directors, helping to guide this University during a time of critical growth. He did so as a devoted Catholic and a true model of the spirit of Duquesne. Among his major accomplishments during that time was chairing the search that brought Dr. John E. Murray Jr. to Duquesne as its first lay president in 1988.  

"Carl graduated from Duquesne's business school in 1950 with an accounting degree, having been a star player on the Dukes baseball team. His life provides abundant examples of a strong commitment to high ideals. A U.S. Navy veteran, community volunteer, devoted father and family man, Carl dedicated many years to helping lead The Hillman Company alongside the late Henry Hillman, and then leading the Hillman Family Foundations directly, resulting in significant philanthropic investments that have helped people throughout Pittsburgh, our region, and the world. In addition to being selected as a charter member of the University's Century Club of Distinguished Duquesne Alumni, Carl earned Duquesne's highest honor for an alumnus, the McAnulty Service Award, among many other awards and recognitions, including an honorary degree from the University in 1990. 

"His commitment to ethics and innovation led to the establishment at Duquesne of the Carl G. Grefenstette Center for Ethics in Science, Technology, and Law, thanks to a generous gift from the Hillman Foundation in Carl's honor. Founded in 2019, the Grefenstette Center is now a nationally-impactful center that explores the intersection between ethics and science, technology, and law from a distinctive Catholic faith-based perspective. The Center builds on Duquesne's longtime academic focus on ethics and its historic commitment to human interaction and community, in a manner that honors Carl's own commitment to these Catholic and Spiritan priorities.  

"As Duquesne's President, I appreciated Carl's wisdom, steady leadership, sage advice, great wit, and his unwavering adherence to the shared values that define our 144-year-old Catholic institution. Along with so many other members of the Duquesne family, I feel blessed to have known Carl and I will miss him greatly. Our condolences go to his entire family, who surely will look proudly on his shining legacy at Duquesne as well as throughout our entire western Pennsylvania region."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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