The position of Joseph Pellegrino University Professor is one of 18 University Professorships at Harvard University. The current Pellegrino University Professor at Harvard University is Peter L. Galison, a historian of science and physicist. Previous holders of the chair were Robert Nozick, a philosopher, and Edward O. Wilson, the biologist, who is currently Pellegrino University Research Professor (an emeritus professor).
University Professorships are the most distinguished position a Harvard professor can attain. They were first created at Harvard in 1935 for professors with exceptional cross-discipline, groundbreaking research. The Pellegrino University Professorship was established in 1992 with gifts from Joseph P. Pellegrino '60 and his family. Mr. Pellegrino is president of Langford Capital Corp. and former president of the Prince Co., formerly owned by his family. A series of commercials proclaiming "Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day in Boston's Italian North End" immortalized both their products and the neighborhood in the minds of millions born prior to 1970. Mr. Pellegrino has taken an active role at Harvard and is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' Dean's Council, the Committee on University Resources, the FAS Boston Major Gifts Steering Committee, the Visiting Committee for Athletics, and the Advisory Committee for Shareholder Responsibility. He has also established a scholarship fund for the College, and has given generously to improve basketball facilities.