The Margin of Excellence
Last October, I was honored to celebrate the dedication of the new $4.7-million Fairman Centre in downtown Punxsutawney. This major new partnership, led by IUP, will transform the venerable Eberhart Building. The Fairman Centre will house classrooms, labs, and faculty and staff offices for the planned expansion of the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts program and for additional program offerings.
IUP Leadership Society member Edward Sims ’53 (left), a retired Slippery Rock member, joined President Tony Atwater, center, and Myron Tomb ’69 to celebrate the successful conclusion of the Gateways to Opportunity campaign in November. Tomb and William Shipley ’75 were cochairs of the effort, which raised $21.7 million in gifts and pledges. A chart behind the men listed donors and showed a breakdown of campaign totals by goal. Photo: Catherine Prato
Area retail businesses will also occupy the 25,000-square-foot facility to enhance economic development in the region.
The key driver of the building renovation was a generous gift of $1.9 million donated by the Alan and Roy Fairman families. It is also supported by $2.5 million in grants and contributions from federal, state, and local agencies. Pennsylvania State Representative and IUP Council of Trustees member Sam Smith was a strong champion for helping to acquire funding for this major construction project.
This exciting project demonstrates clearly the key role of individual contributions to IUP and how they provide the margin of excellence in teaching, learning, research activity, scholarship assistance, and community service.
Our commitment to become an All-Steinway School, one of approximately fifty-five in the world, is another example of how private fundraising support helps us to attain this important margin of excellence.
With recognition as an All-Steinway School, IUP will join a distinguished fraternity that includes Yale University, the Julliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Maryland, Tulane University, and the University of Minnesota.
The All-Steinway initiative will cost $2.6 million for the purchase of eighty pianos and nearly $2 million to create a new endowment to provide for continuous care, maintenance, and long-term instrument replacement.
Scholarship contributions, including academic, athletic, and need-based scholarships, are vital in advancing the margin of excellence at IUP. Over the past decades, state funding declined from 50 percent to just 33 percent of the university’s budget, thereby increasing the tuition cost to our students.
Today, more than 80 percent of all IUP students receive some form of financial aid, and the need for additional scholarships is sharply rising each year. I, myself, have pledged to endow a new scholarship that will assist IUP students to successfully pursue their dreams.
The Foundation for Indiana University of Pennsylvania currently manages 420 endowed scholarship funds for IUP students, providing $1.4 million in annual scholarship support. In the last fiscal year, 15 new academic, athletic, and need-based endowed scholarships were created, and the goal for this year is 20 new scholarships. These scholarships allow our students the opportunity to achieve their goals.
Over recent decades, thousands of IUP former students—perhaps like you—received financial support through the generosity of IUP alumni. I now invite you to join the 2006-2007 Annual Fund to express your appreciation and to assist a new generation of IUP students.
The Annual Fund provides enhanced opportunities to students through scholarships, undergraduate research opportunities, field learning experiences, and support for students who participate at academic competitions, conferences, and performances.
Please step forward as a donor at any level of gift support, including becoming a new member of the IUP Annual Fund Leadership Society at $500 or more.
The Annual Fund student callers may have already reached you or will be contacting you soon. I sincerely ask you to join this campaign by calling Wendy Wareham, director of the Annual Fund, at 724-357-5555 or by sending her e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org in the next few days.
Your contribution will maintain the margin of excellence at IUP and will be a decisive investment in the future of our great university.