Liza Zulick | Staff Writer
Remember that $25 you spent at The Cheesecake Factory? Although most students do not realize it, every time you spend money in Pittsburgh, you are helping the economy in Duquesne’s name.
Although a $25 cheesecake bill might not seem much in the big picture, 9,000 students all spending money makes a huge economic difference to the city of Pittsburgh.
During the past year, Duquesne University made over a $491 million economic impact on the city of Pittsburgh, according to the 2015 economic impact report. This report shows the many different ways Duquesne students and faculty have an impact on Pittsburgh’s economy.
With so many students and faculty spending their time and efforts in and around the Pittsburgh region, there are “nearly a half a billion reasons why Duquesne University is a powerhouse that energizes southwestern Pennsylvania’s economy and helps Pittsburgh prosper,” according to the report.
“I think most people aren’t aware of the huge economic impact Duquesne University has on Pittsburgh,” Associate Professor of Marketing Audrey Guskey said.
There are a variety of ways Duquesne helps Pittsburgh prosper. During 2015, students alone created a direct and indirect impact on the area of over $147 million.
One of the biggest accomplishments, includes attracting more than $10.5 million dollars in research funding, and securing four patents. This research includes stunting cancer cell growth, earlier melanoma detection, new educational opportunities for veterans, Pittsburgh’s first community biotech lab space and more.
“Duquesne is incredibly proud of its rich history in this city and of the University’s research, service, and economic contributions that continue to help Pittsburgh thrive,” Duquesne spokeswoman Rose Ravasio said.
Some of Duquesne’s impacts in Pittsburgh include improving the health of Pittsburgh’s three rivers, operating city buildings more efficiently, developing a regional energy plan and increasing the awareness of biodiversity in Africa, the report said.
Although Duquesne University has an impact on the city of Pittsburgh overall, it specifically has a greater impact on the businesses near it.
TGI Fridays, located on Fifth Avenue, is greatly impacted by the wallets of Duquesne students. According to the general manager, there is “roughly a 25 to 35 thousand dollar increase” during the school year.
Another important section of the impact report concerns sustainability. According to the report, Duquesne’s Spiritan background and beliefs are important to helping protect the environment and economy of Pittsburgh.
Duquesne’s economic impact has continued to grow. While the report is not yearly, the numbers have climbed with each release of the report.
“If we keep up the work we are doing and the more visibility we get with the outside world, it could perhaps increase our enrollment and possibly help our funding,” Guskey said. “Duquesne is really powerful in a beautiful way.”