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Message from the President

Tony Atwater

President Tony Atwater

Institutional Greatness

When IUP first opened its doors on May 17, 1875, as a Normal School with two hundred students and nine faculty members, its founders pledged that “every effort will be made to make this school equal, if not superior, to any other institution of its kind in the country.”

Our founders would be very proud, indeed, to see that IUP has remained committed to excellence, and that it has grown in size, stature, and reputation to become the premier state-owned university in Pennsylvania.

I hope that you have noticed IUP’s very deliberate efforts to increase its visibility and presence in selected areas throughout the United States, especially in those communities in which alumni are most concentrated. As the IUP Magazine goes to press, we will have celebrated a very special evening at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, one of the premier performing arts venues in the nation. IUP Plays Pittsburgh, a musical extravaganza featuring the IUP Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, Chorale, Jazz Ensemble, Opera Theater, and the legendary Marching Band, took place in late November and was enjoyed by a large and very appreciative audience of parents, alumni, students, and friends. We look forward to continuing this fine tradition in years to come.

IUP Plays Pittsburgh

The IUP Marching band filled Heinz Hall stage in November.

In April, Dr. Beverly Roberts-Atwater and I look forward to hosting the first “IUP Legacy Gala” at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum Music Hall. This event will honor IUP’s outstanding alumni in three areas of outstanding accomplishment: one for Alumni Distinction, another for Civic Service, and a third for Philanthropy. This event also will include a special fundraising auction designed to benefit the Academic Fund for Excellence. More about this special event, including the award winners, is available at www.iup.edu/pittsburghnights.  The Legacy Gala will be a spectacular event and will elevate IUP’s presence in Pittsburgh to a new level. The Legacy Gala will become an annual, high-profile celebration of our university’s best and most distinguished alumni.

Tradition and history are of great importance to an academic institution and to its alumni and students. While IUP is a very different place than its founders imagined, it has at its center a firm hold on its core values, traditions, and history. From all that I have learned about the giants of IUP’s past, I firmly believe that they are cheering us on as we pursue new approaches to advancing IUP.

IUP will advance its mission without losing touch with the qualities that have made it unique and excellent. We owe it to both our predecessors and to the next generation of IUP citizens to find the courage to sustain academic excellence and to achieve institutional greatness in novel, strategic, and prudent ways.  I have every confidence that this generation of IUP citizens—including its students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, and friends—will do just that.