Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence

Evolving with Business

Transforming Leaders

Providing World-Class Education

Inspiring and Leading Since 1973

Business never stops reinventing itself – and neither should business leaders. Since 1973, the Executive MBA Program in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has prepared advancing leaders to face the many challenges with skill, confidence, and resolve.

Our 2,300 graduates from across the world enhanced their abilities to design and execute strategies, make evidence-based decisions, and inspire and lead their organizations through numerous obstacles and economic cycles. Behind this dynamic educational experience are the talented staff members and nationally recognized faculty – all dedicated to the success of our students.

In 2023, we come together as the Pitt Katz family to celebrate our alumni, staff, and faculty along with five decades of achievements and excellence in business education.

Celebration Schedule: September 8-9, 2023

Friday, September 8


3 – 5:30 p.m.

Hospitality, Fifth Floor, Alumni Hall

5:30 p.m.
Bus departure from Alumni Hall to Gateway Clipper
6 p.m.
Arrive and board Gateway Clipper
6:30 p.m.

Departure Gateway Clipper, Appetizers & Dinner

8:30 p.m.
Return Gateway Clipper and Bus to Alumni Hall

Saturday, September 9

8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Hospitality, Fifth Floor, Alumni Hall

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast, Fifth Floor, Alumni Hall

8 – 10:40 a.m.

Back to the Classroom, Alumni Hall (option)

9 – 10 a.m.
Pandemic Graduates Reception, University Club, Gold Room
10: 15 – 11:30 a.m.

Through the Decades, Alumni Reception, University Club, Ballroom B

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Keynote Luncheon, Alumni Hall Ballroom

1:45 – 6 p.m.  
Back to the Classroom, Fifth Floor Alumni Hall (option)
2 – 6 p.m.  
Around the Town (options)
6 – 8 p.m.
Celebration Reception/Happy Hour/Networking, Fifth Floor, Alumni Hall

REFLECTIONS: Through the Years

The 50th Celebration is a time to reflect on the most memorable, and meaningful, moments in the Executive MBA program for our alumni, faculty, staff over the past five decades. Here are reflections on those unforgettable times. Share your memories – and any photos – by writing us [Link to new Qualtrics form].

Kim Abel, Executive Director of Executive Degree Programs

“We are proud of our work to build the capacity and leverage the skills of advancing and accomplished leaders like our students. The Executive MBA programs provide a dynamic educational experience by focusing on critical challenges facing today’s organizational leaders and the important domains of analysis strategy and organizational transformation.”

Prakash Mirchandani, Academic Director, Executive MBA Programs

“The pace of economic business and social change has never been and never will be more dramatic than what we are experiencing today. Over the years, we have regularly modified our curriculum and incorporate experience-based learning components where students work on simulations with real data so that students are learning from our experienced faculty and also from their peers.”

Kristen L. Veraldi (EMBA ’20), Deputy Chief of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System

“The overall curriculum and each individual course in the EMBA in Healthcare was carefully crafted for the intended audience, with an emphasis on teaching core concepts and building skills to apply this knowledge to real-world challenges. All of the faculty bring a unique teaching style and enthusiasm to the classroom, and all have clearly invested significant time and effort into adapting their course material for an audience of adult learners with nontraditional and unpredictable schedules.”

Jonathan Hicks (EMBA ’20), Program Manager Phillips Respironics

“The course work and pace stretched my productive capacity. This challenge was integral in developing my character and confidence. This became extremely important during the COVID crisis as I was asked to step into a stretch role and lead a mission-critical program. When I look back, I can clearly see how my Executive MBA prepared me for that moment.” 

MILESTONES: Five Decades of Driving Business

The past 50 years have seen economic booms and recessions. Emerging countries closed the economic gap with the U.S. Dynamic advances in technology that continue today. And the Executive MBA program evolving and adapting to provide business leaders with the critical skills to lead the way. Here are highlights of the past five decades – and what’s happening now:

emba 70s


1972—Executive program is started by Graduate School of Business Dean H. J Zoffer. Executives came on campus once a week for a full day of intense study for two years.

1972—Lou Mervis and his wife Myra donated $2 million to Pitt’s Graduate School of Business.

1977—Apple II comes on the market. Millions of Apple IIs were sold between 1977 and 1993.


1980—IBM asked Microsoft Corporation to design an operating system for their new personal computer.

1983—Mervis Hall was built.

1987—Joseph Katz, founder of Papercraft Corporation, donated $10 million to the University.

emba 70s


1993—The University acquired the former Masonic Temple and renovates the building, which is the current home for the executive education program.

1993—the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia were peacefully founded. As they emerged from communist rule, they embraced free market ideology and executives needed business training.

1998—Our International Executive MBA program is established in Prague, Czech Republic, and continues through [Year].


2001—The first class graduated in São Paulo, Brazil. This location was a partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce.

2002—LinkedIn, a business-oriented social networking website, is launched.

2005 –The Western European Executive MBA was launched in Manchester, England.

São Paulo classroom
EMBA China


2017—The Executive MBA in Healthcare is launched for professionals with strong clinical foundations seeking to deepen their knowledge of the business aspects of healthcare.

2018—Students in the Executive MBA program traveled to Shenzhen, China for the Global Executive Forum, an immersive experience.


2020—Adapting to the pandemic restrictions, the executive MBA classes were taught remotely.

2022—The Healthcare Leadership and Business Fundamentals series is introduced with four remote, dynamic learning sessions led by thought leaders in the business of healthcare.

2023—Executive MBA students resume travel to Germany and Czech Republic for a week-long Global Research Practicum.

EMBA Healthcare