Seton Hill Recognizes Peter and Diana Jannetta with Honorary Degrees
Seton Hill University will present Peter and Diana Jannetta with honorary degrees at the University’s Commencement ceremony on Monday, December 10.
JoAnne Boyle, Seton Hill president commented, “The Jannettas are wonderful role models for our students. The couple’s contributions, Peter’s to science and Diana’s to the art world, are tremendous.”
Diana R. Jannetta has an extensive background in art, architecture and design. Mrs. Jannetta has a deep dedication to WQED-FM and a reputation for excellence as the station’s long-time voice for the arts.
Mrs. Jannetta is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Carnegie Mellon University Art Galler, The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania and The Pittsburgh Symphony.
An esteemed conservator of Pennsylvania’s culture and heritage, Mrs. Jannetta has served as board chair for the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and managed a project to build a new center for the Guild so that children, regardless of experience or circumstance, could discover themselves through art.
Named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scout Council of Westmoreland County and recognized with the Distinguished Gold Medal of the Westmoreland Society by the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Mrs. Jannetta has had a multi-faceted career as a designer, artist, radio personality, business executive, teacher and banker.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Duke University and completed graduate study at the University of Houston where she earned her Master of Arts degree in Spanish literature. Mrs. Jannetta earned her Master of Arts degree in 20th century American art at the University of Pittsburgh.
Peter J. Jannetta, M.D., is an internationally recognized neurosurgeon. His distinguished career has taken him from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as an associate in neurological surgery to Louisiana State University Medical Center where he served as chair of the Department of Neurology to the University of Pittsburgh where he assumed the same role. Today, he is the vice chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery with Allegheny General Hospital.
Dr. Jannetta is a prolific contributor to scientific literature; he has given lectures and has been a visiting professor at institutions throughout the world. His seminal contributions in the understanding and treatment of vascular compression syndromes of the brainstem and cranial nerves have saved lives and changed lives all over the world.
In 1990, Dr. Jannetta was recognized with the Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans and the Distinguished Citizen of the Commonwealth Award from the Pennsylvania Society, one of only 15 recipients since the inception of the awards in 1976.
Dr. Jannetta earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Like his wife Diana, Dr. Jannetta has a passion for the arts. He is a musician at heart, schooled on the piano but mastering the tenor banjo, skills honed in the jazz clubs of New Orleans. Dr. Jannetta is currently applying some of his surgical skills to sculpting in plaster.
In 2011, the Squirrel Hill couple, who have a home in Ligonier, Pa., presented more than 130 objects of contemporary American art from their private collection to the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. The donated works included paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, glass, ceramics and photographs by such noted artists as Kenneth Noland, Richard Anuszkiewicz, James Turrell, Barry LeVa, Dorothea Rockburne, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, John McCracken, Dale Chihuly, Warren MacKenzie, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen, among others. The gift was initiated in 2010 with a major work by the minimalist sculptor, Donald Judd. This gift of art was the largest and most significant in the history of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.
“Diana and Peter Jannetta have made a generous gift to the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in the form of works of art from their personal collection including major pieces dating from post-1950,” said Judith Hansen O’Toole, executive director, Westmoreland Museum of American Art. “Through this remarkable act, the Jannetta’s have single handedly expanded the Westmoreland's collection beyond our traditional collecting focus of 1750-1950, enabling us to be a comprehensive museum of American art. Given at the time when we are planning an expansion, this remarkable gesture, made in the most humble of terms, has been powerfully transformative for the Museum.”
The Jannettas will be recognized at 5 p.m. during the Commencement exercises in the Salvitti Gymnasium inside The Katherine Mabis McKenna Center on Seton Hill University’s hilltop campus, Greensburg, Pa.