IUP Family:

I hope that you and your loved ones continue to be safe and well.

Yesterday, we announced our plans for on-campus commencement ceremonies on September 12 to honor our May and August graduates and Provost Tim Moerland and I (practicing social distancing, of course) recorded a message for our graduates to be posted on May 9, which marks the date when the spring commencement ceremonies were originally scheduled. Quite honestly, it was a bit of a bittersweet day.

I appreciate all the work that's being done for the rescheduled ceremonies. I look forward to that day, but we are all aware that it is not how anyone would have wished the semester to end. It just won't be the same.

Students and families, I understand your feelings of loss and sadness. We all have been frustrated by canceled events, programs, and projects. I urge you not to dwell on those negative feelings or let them get in the way of celebrating your accomplishments. You've done great things here, and you deserve celebration:

  • A total of 663 of our students receiving undergraduate degrees in May and August qualify for Latin honors (a grade point average of 3.25 or above). They include 34 undergraduates completing studies with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
  • The class includes the first PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision graduates.
  • A member of our faculty will be honored with the Distinguished University Professor recognition (to be announced very soon). Four others will be honored with University Senate Awards, and a member of our staff will receive an award for service.
  • Eight students were selected for the 2020 Women's Leadership Awards, and one of our faculty members was honored with the Jane Leonard Award for the Advancement of Women.
  • Students in almost every department have been selected for scholarships and awards, many established to honor alumni and former faculty and staff.
  • The Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement conducted online its leadership and Greek leadership achievement awards program.
  • The 10th annual Ray Coppler Disability Awareness Award recipient has been selected and will be honored during Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society's spring (online) ceremony this week.
  • Crimson Salute, celebrating our diverse student graduates, will be held via technology.
  • Research Appreciation Week's research forum is planned for next week in an online format, complete with awards. I look forward to seeing the scholarship of our students and the mentorship of our faculty members reflected in this work.

I continue to thank the IUP family for your continued generosity. Our Emergency Response Fund, which helps students in financial distress caused by the pandemic, continues to grow. More than 349 donors have given more than $187,000.

More than 240 students have received assistance, but there is significant additional need. Please consider continuing to support our students through this fund.

Congratulations on all the wonderful things that you have done, and enjoy the celebrations, even though they were not as you had planned. Sometimes, “not what you expected” can be turn out to be more sweet than bitter.

Michael A. Driscoll


P.S. The Marketing and Communications Division is compiling a video in honor of May and August graduates that will air May 9. Members of the IUP community, including students, parents, faculty and staff members, and coaches, are encouraged share well wishes, advice, or praise by submitting a video shorter than 30 seconds or a written message three sentences or fewer. Submissions should include name and department or office. Graduates are invited to send messages in the same formats to say farewell to friends. Send the message to brand-management@iup.edu by tomorrow, Thursday, April 30.