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How a T-shirt is Helping in the Fight against COVID-19

Pitt Athletics recently launched an effort to support the Center for Vaccine Research (CVR) in developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the first 12 hours on sale, supporters nabbed more than 1,000 T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Over Fate and Foe Victorious,” resulting in a one-day donation of $10,000 to the CVR. As of this writing, donations have climbed past $16,000.

“It really exceeded our expectations,” said Lori Burens, director of licensing and merchandising for Pitt Athletics.

“The idea was for something universal, something the entire Pitt community could rally around, not just an athletics shirt,” Burens said. “The alma mater seemed to fit the bill.”

“We’re not making any money from this,” Burens added.

Proceeds from Pitt-branded face coverings will also be donated to CVR.

“They’re doing incredible work and we want to support them any way that we can,” said Burens. “Anyone can contribute. We will beat this pandemic if we rally together.”

A history of Pitt pride and support

In 1955, Pitt’s Jonas Salk introduced the world to his team’s polio vaccine—transformative work that was partly crowdfunded, too, through the March of Dimes.

This year, the federal government chose Pitt’s CVR as one of a handful of elite institutions nationwide to receive samples of the novel coronavirus for study. And this spring, the families of families of coaches Pat Narduzzi, Jeff Capel, Lance White and Athletic Director Heather Lyke donated a combined $500,000 to the CVR.