For the Founders

Celebrating 50 Years as Carnegie Mellon University

In 1967, two institutions founded by visionaries — Carnegie Institute of Technology and Mellon Institute — came together to form Carnegie Mellon University.

We pay tribute to the innovations and innovators who have transformed education, our society and our world.

 

This year, we honor the foundation that made us who we are today. We pay tribute to the innovations and innovators who have transformed education, our society and our world. We empower our students, alumni, faculty and staff, whose ingenuity will impact our daily lives in ways we cannot yet imagine.

The merger of Carnegie Institute of Technology and Mellon Institute is where we came from. But the real story is everything that came after — and everyone who has followed in our founders’ footsteps to become leaders with their own initiatives, creations and ideas.

From a student raising over $170,000 in scholarships to a professor making math more accessible to all, Tartans are shaping the future of not just Carnegie Mellon, but of the world. 

Check out some of the students, alumni and faculty who have their heart in the work in the gallery below and read their stories on the 50th Anniversary website.

The Carnegie Mellon University of today exists because of two philanthropists whose commitment to education and discovery laid the foundation for this institution that is honored to carry their surnames. Read about our founders below.

Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon: Revolutionizing Education

Born in 1835, Andrew Carnegie was industrious, intelligent and a shrewd investor, controlling the development of the U.S. steel industry in the late 1800s and amassing a fortune of $372 billion.

In 1900, declaring, “My heart is in the work,” he designated $2 million to create the Carnegie Institute of Technology, nicknamed Carnegie Tech.

Like Carnegie, Andrew W. Mellon focused his efforts on the industrial opportunities available in Pittsburgh. Born in 1855, he was a banker and venture capitalist who held investments in 300 companies during his lifetime, including the Aluminum Company of America, or Alcoa, the chemical company Koppers, the Carborundum Company, and Westinghouse Electric.

Andrew Mellon and his business partner and brother, Richard, recognized that they had built their fortunes by applying new technologies to industries. In 1909, they co-founded the Mellon Institute and School of Specific Industries at their alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. The Institute conducted so much important research (smog abatement for Pittsburgh, the invention of the gas mask, a pneumonia serum, and more) that in 1928, it was incorporated as the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research.

By the 1960s, Andrew Mellon’s son, Paul, secretly proposed a merger between the two institutions. While the administrators of both Carnegie Tech and the Mellon Institute realized that each had strengths that would increase if they merged, few could have predicted how fast the new institution would transform into a global powerhouse. And so, in 1967, these two legends' visions merged to become Carnegie Mellon University, forever impacting the world of higher education, research and discovery.

 
Join Carnegie Mellon, as we celebrate the founder in all of us.