Giving Impact: Legacy of love and giving back

Janet ('83 M.B.A.) and Rob Pittman ('85 M.B.A.) (Photo by Ahna Hubnik)Janet ('83 M.B.A.) and Rob Pittman ('85 M.B.A.) fell in love with each other -- and UNT -- as students. And they have been consistent UNT supporters since their graduation.

"UNT has been a big part of my family's life for the last 40-plus years," Janet says.

Janet's father, Marvin Berkeley, was the dean and a professor of management in the College of Business, and her mother, Betty Berkeley ('80 Ed.D.), earned her doctorate in adult/continuing education.

Janet met Rob while they were both pursuing master's degrees in business computer information systems.

"He was the cute boy in the back of the class, so I sat next to him," Janet says.

They began hanging out at the Rock Bottom Lounge in the University Union and Rob helped Janet with a programming class she was struggling in. Their relationship flourished.

And even though Janet took a job in Houston after graduation, Rob commuted on weekends so they could be together.

She eventually moved back to Dallas to accept a job with Rob's employer at the time, and they married in 1984.

Janet learned the value of giving back from her parents. Janet's father established the Dr. Betty Berkeley Graduate Award in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Toulouse Graduate School in 2003.

"When my father passed away in 2009, my family wanted to establish a scholarship to honor his contributions to the College of Business and support the students," Janet says, adding that her mother also arranged for memorial contributions to benefit students. "The Division of Advancement was very supportive and quickly established the Dean Marvin Berkeley Scholarship. They made the process so easy for us during a difficult time in our lives."

In 2012, UNT dedicated a tree at the new Business Leadership Building in honor of her parents. Janet also has served as a mentor to students with the Professional Leadership Program. She is passionate about supporting the College of Business because of the opportunities afforded to her as a result of her education.

"When I graduated, I had several job offers in the IT industry that I wouldn't have received with just my undergraduate degree in psychology," Janet says.

Through giving back, she has been able to honor her family, and her memories, in perpetuity.

"You don't have to be a multimillionaire to support our students," she says. "You can be someone like me or a member of my family who has a heart for the university."

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