Open House is Friday for John P. Murtha Center for Public Service and National Competitiveness

Pitt-Johnstown

posted April 05, 2017


The public is invited to an open house tour and reception at the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service and National Competitiveness, located on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, on Friday, April 7, 2017, beginning at 10 a.m.

Murtha's Johnstown legacyMr. Murtha was a former Marine Corps officer and was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served for 36 years until his death in 2010. The public event schedule is:

  • Open house, 10 a.m.-noon
  • Welcome Presentation with Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar, noon
  • Refreshments, 12:15 p.m.

The 7,400-square-foot center is dedicated to Congressman Murtha’s commitment to public service and national competitiveness in the region. The $23-million facility received a $250,000 commitment from The John P. Murtha Foundation when the project launched in September 2014. The center consists of a multipurpose room, Murtha exhibit space, Veteran’s Lounge, and offices, and will host public lectures, symposiums, debates, and guest lecturers.

Mr. Murtha dedicated his life to public service, having served his country both in the military and in U.S. Congress.

As a Marine, he received a Bronze Star with Combat V, two Purple Hearts, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Upon his retirement from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1990, he was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal by the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1974, John Murtha became the first Vietnam War combat veteran to be elected to the U.S. Congress, representing the 12th Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Congressman Murtha, at various times, represented all or parts of Allegheny, Armstrong, Cambria, Clarion, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1974-2010, he was the longest-serving member of Congress in the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including his role as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

The John P. Murtha Foundation was established in 2010, following Congressman Murtha’s death. The Foundation’s primary focus is to honor the Congressman’s distinguished legacy by inspiring students and the general public to become active in their communities, the military, and in public service.

The John P. Murtha Center for Public Service and National Competitiveness, will formally open with a dedication ceremony on April 6, 2017.


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is marking its 90th anniversary well as the 50th year of the campus in its Richland Township location. Pitt-Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.