The Pittsburgh region suffered a great loss this past October, when it was announced that William S. Dietrich II, former steel industry executive and Western PA native, lost his bout with gallbladder cancer at the age of 73. His generous legacy to institutions of higher learning promises to bolster the Pittsburgh community for generations to come.
Stemming from Mr. Dietrich’s 1996 sale of Dietrich Industries, one of the nation’s largest steel distribution and products company, to Worthington Industries, Mr. Dietrich created the Dietrich Charitable Trusts. By the time of his death, assets from the trusts reached $500 million – all of which were given to the Dietrich Foundation to be spread among local educational institutions, charitable organizations, and non-profits. Beneficiaries to date include Carnegie Mellon University ($265M), the University of Pittsburgh ($125M), Thiel College ($25M), Duquesne University ($12.5M), Chatham University ($5M), the Pittsburgh Foundation ($18.1M), the United Way of Allegheny County ($6.9M), and the Boy Scouts of America ($5M). The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh each received $5 million.
Among those of us who call Pittsburgh home, few will have assets to match Mr. Dietrich’s. Yet we can join him in investing in the well being of our community by donating and volunteering our time and effort to the nonprofit arts, education, and human services organizations that are so integral to our region’s future.