We Pitt people, and especially us Pitt football fans, just became familiar with a Pitt alumni name when Steve and Kathy Guttman casually dropped a cool $2,000,000 into the Pitt Football Championship Fund.
“Finally!” we all cried “here is a donation that will start the financial donation ball rolling”. And it well might do so, or at least let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Steve Guttman was a 1968 graduate of Pitt and then went on to complete his law degree at George Washington. He wasn’t raised in one of Pittsburgh’s arty families, of which there were many back in the ’60s:
Steven Guttman fell in love with art at the heels of a hound. “I grew up in Pittsburgh, in a modest family, and we had no art in our house,” says the 68-year-old collector at his Greenwich Village town house.
The founder of Storage Deluxe Management Corp. and former CEO of the Federal Realty Investment Trust, Guttman is surrounded by hundreds of paintings, sculptures and furniture created by some of the world’s most desired artists. Along with his wife, Kathy, he has amassed one of the nation’s foremost collections of American folk and contemporary art, but he still remembers when he was a blank canvas.
“No one in my family had ever really been exposed to art,” Guttman says.
We’ll get back to the Guttmans in a moment but I think it is safe to say most Pitt fans had never heard of or knew Steve Guttman before yesterday unless you may have been a childhood friend or attended Pitt in the same years he did.
But very few of us also had even heard of the Pitt Football Championship Fund or “The Quest For Ten” as it is known in the athletic department.