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Brief Biographical / Historical Sketch

History

Pitt’s Cap and Gown Club was an all male organization devoted to the production of annual varsity musical comedy shows. Founded in 1908, it eventually became the most popular non-athletic activity on campus. The Club produced a total of 36 shows through 1947, halting their activities only for four years during World War II. The Graduate Cap and Gown club, which supervised the productions, was officially incorporated in 1928 although it had been in existence for some years before. This group was officially dissolved in 1978. All Cap and Gown productions were written and produced by Pitt undergraduates and alumni. Only undergraduates made up the casts and chorus. Gene Kelly, CAS ’33, was an undergraduate member, and served as the Club’s dance director for several years after graduating. Regis Toomey, ’21, was another member who went on to a successful theatrical career. The Cap and Gown Club also produced two songs that became University standards, “Hail to Pitt” (from 1910's Here and There) and the “Pitt Victory Song” (from 1938's Pickets Please).