Employees and students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania celebrated raising more than $84,000 through the 2022 Hawks Helping Hawks campaign at a donor and volunteer appreciation event on April 25.

The Hawks Helping Hawks campaign invited donations and messages of support and encouragement to students from IUP employees and students. Funds donated through the Hawks Helping Hawks are used for student scholarships and programs directly impacting students.

“Our main focus at IUP is to put students at the center of everything we do,” Vice President for University Advancement Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna said. “The way our faculty and staff have shown their love and support for IUP through the Hawks Helping Hawks drive exemplifies what’s great about IUP—our people.

“Maybe your gifts will help a student offset the cost of tuition, maybe it will give them a learning opportunity that will make a huge impact, or maybe it will give them the confidence to know there is a whole family of supporters here at IUP who are pulling for them to succeed,” she said during the event. “The funds we have raised in the Hawks Helping Hawks drive impact every aspect of campus philanthropy, from scholarships to academic opportunities to social initiatives that create a truly inclusive university community.”

The 2022 IUP Giving Day, part of the month-long Hawks Helping Hawks campaign, shattered the 2022 IUP Giving Day goal, raising $40,529 during a 24-hour period on March 24 through 105 donations.

The IUP Giving Day donors “unlocked” a matching gift of $50,000 from Terry Serafini, a 1961 graduate, for the General Student Scholarship, which is open to all students to receive funds based on need or merit.

Serafini, a Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, has provided funding for several scholarships and projects at IUP, including the Food Pantry and Help Center and the Grant Street project.

After serving as an officer in the US Army, Serafini began his business career in 1964 as a computer systems marketing representative for the IBM Corporation. Six years later, he became a partner and co-owner of Computerpeople, Inc. He also co-founded Compucom, Inc., a digital imaging and microfilm solutions company located in Pittsburgh.

In addition to providing monetary donations, this year’s IUP Giving Day asked that employees support IUP students and the university by participating in two social media challenges: one designed to illustrate “Crimson Hawks spirit;” the second, to make a post on IUP social media channels about the positive impact IUP, or an IUP employee or student, has had on their lives.

Gifts from students made during IUP Giving Day continue to be matched by Col. Stephen Abel, a 1973 IUP graduate, who has pledged to match the first 1,000 students to make a gift of $5 or more to any university fund or initiative with an additional $10 gift from November 30, 2021, through June 30, 2022.

Abel, a 2018 recipient of IUP’s Distinguished Alumni Award, retired as a US Army colonel after a 27-year military career. He went on to serve as deputy commissioner in the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and then as founding director of Veterans Programs and Services at Rutgers University. He has been a supporter of IUP’s Veterans Assistance Fund and Military and Veterans Resource Center, with a goal of making sure veterans have what they need to stay in school.

Held annually during the spring semester, IUP Giving Day focuses on the most pressing needs of the IUP community. In 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic began unfolding, IUP leadership made the decision to change the event to the IUP Day of Caring, an opportunity to show how the university family cares for one another, for the communities that they call home, for the nation, and for the world.

Following a request for alumni to provide help and support, more than 25 alumni, experts in their fields, offered tips on coping with the pandemic and its effects on daily life on the IUP’s Day of Caring web page—ranging from how to set up a home workspace to tips for helping children continue to learn while at home. IUP’s more than 150,000 alumni are leaders in almost every imaginable career field—including many providing hands-on care to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic—and live throughout the world.

The Day of Caring web page also offered information about IUP’s Emergency Response Fund (now the Student Assistance Fund), established in March 2020 to support students who experienced financial challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than $700,000 was donated to the IUP Student Assistance Fund and distributed to students from March 2020 through March 2022.

In February 2021, IUP announced the conclusion of its Imagine Unlimited comprehensive fundraising campaign, raising a total of $81.4 million six months ahead of schedule and $6.36 million above its original $75-million goal.