Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Bill Strickland's young life was deeply impacted by the influence of an art teacher he had in high school. Bright, driven, and capable, the young Strickland wanted to get out of Pittsburgh and make a difference in the world, but he was just a teen, living in the poor part of town, and going through the motions. He was, at the time, directionless.
When he met art teacher Frank Ross, though, Strickland's life turned around. Sure, Ross taught Strickland about art, and sculpting in particular, but more importantly, he gave Strickland hope and taught him about life. The two formed a friendship at the potter's wheel, and that bond and the skills Ross passed on to his young student later became the inspiration for Strickland's social change organization: Manchester Cratfsmen's Guild. With programs in art, music, and performance, Strickland has led MCG to serve his community and bring about change in the young people there for the past thirty years. Strickland has also been at the head of the Bidwell Training Center, which offers vocational training to adults in his community, for more than two decades. A community activist with a mind for business, Strickland has been recognized by Harvard Business School for being a "social entrepreneur," and has spoken at multiple colleges and universities across the country, telling his story and inspiring others to help change their communities.
Parent of students in the Classes of 2021 and 2002
Appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2012