As LRDC began preparations for its 50th anniversary, showcasing 50 years of research, projects, and accomplishments became a priority.
During the summer of 2012, three 16-millimeter films about the first ten years of the Center, produced in 1974, were discovered in materials that had been archived. These films and their content served as a catalyst to create a new LRDC documentary. In early 2013, interviews were conducted with some of LRDC’s notable personalities, footage from the 1974 films was interweaved into the new film where possible, and descriptions of current work at LRDC was included to create a digital overview of 50 years of the Center.
Fifty years is a long time for a research center that is dedicated to a single mission. LRDC has thrived because it is a valued part of the University of Pittsburgh and because of its people, its scientists, its students, and its staff. But 50 years is a short time on the scale of human learning and teaching. For the next 50 years we can expect LRDC’s core mission to be a guidepost. But its research and development will change in ways that are not completely predictable—just as it has during its first 50 years.