The Insider recently had the pleasure of sitting down with our new president, Dr. Robert Gregerson. Gregerson was elected July 1, 2019 and succeeds Sharon P. Smith.
Q: What do you like most about the university?
A: I took this job and I was interested in this job because of the scale of the university. I’ve been at big universities and I’ve been at small colleges. I wanted to sort of, in this next phase, probably last phase of my career be at the place where you develop relationships with people, faculty, students, staff, community members, and its hard to do that if you’re at a massive university. So the size was right. The relationship with Pitt main campus, the fact we do have resources of a major research university, not many small colleges have that. So that was really important to me. I also like living in smaller towns, I lived in big cities, I’ve lived in smaller towns, and this feels right. So all those things together, like this, for me the perfect fit.
Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies that you like to do?
A: Well, I love sports. So attending sporting events, we’re watching them on TV. Kind of anything that’s an athletic event I like. Whether it’s on the court, on the ice, on the field. Myself, I like to be outdoors. Whether its hiking paddling, that sort of thing.
Q: So you’re from Florida but where from Florida?
A: Well, I can’t say I’m from Florida, I lived there for five years. So we lived in Fort Myers, Florida, which is on the Gulf Coast. I grew up in Indiana, as the state.
Q: Who is your favorite artist/band?
A: It depends on what mood you’re in, right? Steely Dan would probably be the top of the list there. Rock Jazz combo. Led Zeppelin. Chicago. So classic rock. I like a lot of jazz. John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, so many.
Q: What kind of dog do you have?
A: Her name is Sadie and she is a Toy Poodle. She’s been on campus a few times and my wife brought her up and you’ll see her from time to time. She will come to events. She’s a nice a little doggie.
Q: What is your favorite sport to watch?
A: College Football would be number one. Soccer would be number two. Baseball number three. Hockey number four. Basketball five. But again, sometimes you’re in the mood for this and that. And I think when football season starts that’s really exciting.
Q: What made you decide to make a Twitter account?
A: Well, it’s just the ability to communicate sort of on a professional level so that people know what the President’s thinking, people know what the President’s doing.
Q: Do you like Starbucks or Dunkin’ more?
A: I like Dunkin’ more.
Q: So if you could have lunch with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be?
A: Thomas Jefferson, probably. Gandhi would be number two. Einstein would be number three.
Q: If you could have any job besides being the president of our university, what would it be?
A: Can I be a Major League Baseball player? Yeah, I think that would be pretty cool.
Q: What is your favorite holiday?
A: It’s got to be Halloween. It’s fun, it’s just all about the fun. So the other holidays, there’s pressure involved. You know, you gotta get them right. You gotta get Christmas right, you gotta get Thanksgiving right. Halloween’s just having fun.