Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium officially drops PPG from name

click to enlarge A sign reading "Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium" sits at the end of a vast parking lot on an overcast day.
CP Photo: Amanda Waltz
Newly changed Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium sign, Jan. 13, 2023
Those passing the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium over the last two days may have noticed a subtle change. On Jan.12, the organization unveiled new signage reflecting its recent name change to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, almost two weeks after it ended its naming partnership with sponsors PPG Paints and the PPG Foundation.

According to a release dated Dec. 15, 2022, PPG withdrew its sponsorship of the zoo to refocus on science, technology, engineering, and math education programming. As a result, the company and its philanthropic arm relinquished naming rights to the Aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Beginning this year, PPG and the PPG Foundation will fund STEM learning opportunities for "local at-risk middle school students" in the zoo’s teen learning lab, as well as animal encounters, career shadowing experiences, and team project opportunities.

Extension on the naming rights, originally established in April 2002, expired last year. Both PPG and the Zoo agreed to retain the PPG name through the end of 2022, with the change to Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium taking effect on Jan. 1.

Malesia Dunn, executive director of the PPG Foundation and Corporate Global
Social Responsibility, says PPG’s perspective on where the Foundation can provide the strongest value as a community partner "has continued to transform."

Dunn adds, “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium through STEM educational programming.”
This marks the latest name change for Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, which started out as the Highland Park Zoo. The organization also previously adopted the name AquaZoo when the Aquarium opened in 1967, then the first facility of its kind in Pennsylvania.

To Zoo leadership, the name change marks a new chapter for the organization, which has been a part of Pittsburgh since 1898.

“We are excited to be able to continue and evolve our PPG relationship, which has lasted over 20 years,” says Zoo president and CEO Dr. Jeremy Goodman. “Education is at the core of both organizations, so continuing to partner with PPG with a new focus on inclusive and engaging STEM programming is a positive direction for us and the entire community.”