A Golden Age, Revisited
That’s how Sam Furgiuele described IUP while pitching a story to the Pittsburgh Press back in 1966—Cinderella, defined as one suddenly lifted from obscurity to a position of significance. The reference, of course, pointed to Indiana State College’s taking control of its destiny and attaining university status. That status was made possible not suddenly, but by a series of changes that took place over two decades. Beginning in the late 1940s, the tight-knit IUP community capitalized on faculty strengths and broadened the curriculum from teacher training to a full spectrum of academic majors.
Those were challenging times, with Willis Pratt at the helm, backed by a strong faculty and staff—good men and women committed to ensuring that the young people who would go on to play prominent roles in the next few decades were well prepared and ready to go.
Those were great times, too.
In this edition, you have the opportunity to read more about
Sam Furgiuele, a long-retired faculty member and director of public relations. What’s more, Randy Jesick, a much-loved professor in our
Journalism and Public Relations Department who has been around IUP since 1969, wrote the story. It doesn’t directly say so, but you will infer that IUP, indeed, experienced a golden age.
As I think about our learning community’s direction, I am compelled to take a look at IUP’s long, rich history. It is, after all, difficult to know where you are going if you don’t know whence you came—and it’s easy to see how we arrived at this auspicious time right now in university history.
You see, IUP is never solely about the present and what we are doing today. For you, the alumnus or alumna reading this, IUP is a snapshot of your time as a student. When we put all those snapshots together, we have something like a stop-motion animation or its predecessor, the flip book. We all are part of the same storyline.
I take none of it for granted and am quite excited for all the future holds. While we are ready to do the work and take the risks to add to the storyline, I thank and give a nod of respect to those who came before me. They can be proud that Cinderella U is on the cusp of its next golden age.
Michael A. Driscoll