Message from the President
The Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex opened to the public in early March. The finished building represents the culmination of countless hours of hard work and dedication on the part of IUP; local, state, and federal officials; and a commission that comprises community volunteers and university employees.
The facility is projected to pump more than $300 million into the local economy over a ten-year period that will begin when ground is broken for the neighboring hotel. The community and university will benefit from the facility in many other ways, too.
Now, for the first time, there’s an indoor facility to accommodate events as large as IUP’s commencement ceremonies. The complex’s Ed Fry Arena seats 5,000, while Toretti Auditorium has 650 seats.
The Original Harlem Globetrotters and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were the first attractions booked by manager Global Spectrum. As an indoor venue for court sports, the Kovalchick Complex is arguably larger and grander than what exists at any other Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference school. There are five luxury suites and a plaza-style food court. The facility can accommodate weddings, trade shows, large-scale banquets, and, as its name suggests, large- and small-scale conferences.
In fact, the complex is a first-rate corporate training and executive conference facility. There are six meeting rooms, a training lab, and a board room. The conference center has nine rooms, and presenters have access to state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, in addition to teleconferencing and videoconferencing capabilities.
The evening before the official opening, an event honored two select groups. A number of IUP faculty members were cited for the acclaim they bring the university through their published scholarship. A number of donors, some of whom are named in this issue, were thanked for gifts that helped make the complex possible. The event celebrated the university, the community, and the complex that will serve them both.
At the Kovalchick Complex groundbreaking in 2007, Indiana County Commissioner Rodney Ruddock ’65, M’75, was a speaker. A lifelong Indiana resident, he said then—and his words ring just as true now—“If you don’t get excited about Indiana today, you’ll never get excited.”