225 Years of Building Better Lives
header image
Share Your Story
Sharing Pitt Memories

Traitor, and Proud of It!


Michelle Turbanic (A&S ’06, LAW ’10):

A few years after my father retired from the United States Navy, he decided to move my family closer to our relatives. This is how, halfway through the 4th grade, I ended up 20 miles south of West Virginia University in Fairmont, WV. I graduated from East Fairmont High School in 2002. I grew up attending numerous WVU functions and athletic events, and thought I would end up there; many of my classmates did, and my brother started his studies at WVU in 1999.

But in my sophomore year of high school, my father was employed by the University of Pittsburgh. I agreed to tour the campus, thinking I was really just going to humor my parents. The second my Pathfinder tour guide walked me out of Alumni Hall and I really got to see the Cathedral, it was love at first sight. I strolled through campus hearing about all of the incredible things Pitt had to offer, including the Semester at Sea program, and decided I was a Panther, not a Mountaineer. I went home that night and applied and was overjoyed when my envelope arrived with "Congratulations!" stamped across the front.

I started at Pitt in the fall of 2002 and loved every minute of college. I joined a sorority, got involved with the Student Government Board, met friends that I will have for the rest of my life, and fell in love with Pittsburgh as a whole -- all of this while receiving a world-class education. In the summer of 2005, I participated in the Semester at Sea program, traveling to Iceland, Norway, Russia, Belgium, Poland, Ireland, France, and Spain. When it came time to select a law school, it wasn't hard to look across Forbes Avenue and decide I wasn't yet ready to leave.

Now a proud alum of both undergraduate and graduate programs, I can look back on that tour day and know that my parents always knew I belonged at Pitt. Quite simply, I ended up exactly where I belonged.

I am currently employed by an international law firm in Wheeling, WV. Once again, I am surrounded by Mountaineer fans. But I don't have any problem being the “traitor” of the bunch. I proudly display my diplomas in my office and wear my Pitt gear on game day, and I look forward to reuniting with all of my fellow Panthers every Homecoming.