Chatham University to Surprise Students with Mister Rogers-Themed Dinner Event to Benefit Children’s Hospital

Updated on October 18, 2019
Mister Rogers Neighborhood

On Friday, October 25th, just a few weeks before the widely anticipated premiere of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Chatham University in Pittsburgh will kick off its annual Family & Friends Weekend by hosting a Mister Rogers-themed dinner event on campus to benefit UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The theme of this annual dinner is coordinated by Parkhurst Dining for Chatham University and changes each year to be a surprise for the students and staff, as the theme is kept top-secret across campus until the doors open. 

This year’s theme is “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” a feel-good celebration of the many distinctive neighborhoods and flavors that make up the greater Pittsburgh community.

For example, a made-from-scratch pierogi station will represent Polish Hill, fresh pasta will represent Little Italy, etc. There will also be a super-sized cookie table featuring regional favorites that have been specially baked by local bakeries—as well as Eat ‘n Park Smiley Cookies—to honor this beloved Pittsburgh-centric wedding tradition.

In addition, a special showcase will highlight famous foods that were invented in Pittsburgh, including Primanti Bros’ sandwiches, Clark bars, and the Big Mac, which was invented in 1967 by Jim Delligatti, an owner-operator of several early McDonald’s franchises in the Pittsburgh area. Attendees’ menu options will include delicious slider sandwiches that have been custom-made to pay homage to these local delicacies.

“With the upcoming Mister Rogers film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood set to remind the world of the magic of Fred Rogers and his enduring commitment to community and togetherness, a Mister Rogers theme seemed like the perfect choice for this year’s student dinner celebration,” said Chatham University’s Courtney Blood. “We live in a tumultuous time, when many people would prefer to distance themselves over their differences than unite through their shared experiences. Through his lifelong values of friendship, curiosity, and acceptance, Mister Rogers has served as a beacon of hope, inspiration, and creativity for generations. So when it comes to celebrating what makes the history, food, and people of Pittsburgh so special, there’s no better theme than the heartwarming message of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

The “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” student dinner will take place on Friday, October 25th, from 5 to 7 PM in Chatham University’s Anderson Dining Hall, which is located on the first floor of Mellon Center in Chatham’s Shadyside Campus. Food and drink will be provided by local restaurants and vendors, including fresh produce from Chatham’s own Eden Hall farm.

Proceeds will benefit UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. 

Founded in 1869, Chatham University has an enrollment of over 2,200 students across over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs in our areas of excellence: sustainability & health, business & communications and the arts & sciences. Chatham has consistently been named a College of Distinction and a “Best College” by U.S. News & World Report, and, the alma mater of environmental icon Rachel Carson ’29, is perennially ranked as one of the “greenest” colleges in the United States.

Located in Pittsburgh, PA—one of the country’s most livable cities and great college towns—Chatham is composed of three distinct locations: the historic arboretum, Shadyside Campus; Chatham Eastside in the fast-growing East End; and Eden Hall Campus, one of the world’s most sustainable campuses.

Chatham’s mission is “to prepare students to build lives of purpose, value and fulfilling work…by preparing graduates to be informed and engaged citizens in their communities; to recognize and respect diversity of culture, identity, and opinion; and to live sustainably.” Building on this mission, Chatham is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive learning, living, and working environment for all members of the campus community.

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