IUP President Michael Driscoll, left, presents John “Jack” Frank with the 2024 President’s Medal of Distinction.

John “Jack” Frank, a 1958 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has received the 2024 IUP President’s Medal of Distinction.

IUP President Michael Driscoll presented Frank with the award on May 9 “with pride and gratitude in recognition of outstanding professional achievement.”

The President's Medal of Distinction is the highest nondegree award the university presents. It was established in 1985 to honor citizens of the state and region whose professional achievement or public service is of national significance or special significance to the university.

“Dr. Frank has devoted his life to serving students and citizens of Pennsylvania through his work at IUP, his time in the navy, and his active work in his community,” IUP President Driscoll said. “He has continued to stay involved with IUP, serving as a resource for our students and for university leadership, and is respected throughout the commonwealth for his professional leadership and expertise. I have benefited from Dr. Frank’s advice, stories about IUP history, and presence at university events. This honor is well-deserved,” he said.

Frank was selected for the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award for service in 2006, and he and his wife, Jeannette, were honored with the IUP Athletics Hall of Fame Bellringer Award in 2023 for their contributions to IUP athletics.

Frank attended IUP through the GI Bill after serving in the US Navy for four years during the Korean Conflict. In addition to his IUP degree, he earned a master’s degree from Westminster College in 1959 and his PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 1974.

Frank began his work at IUP in 1973 as the assistant dean of men and as counselor to veteran students, then as director of counseling services and veterans affairs. He served in that role for 25 years, helping hundreds of young men and women make the transition from military service to university life. He was the advisor of the IUP Vets Club, which offered returning veterans a place to meet others with similar backgrounds. As assistant dean of men, he supervised 16 social fraternities and was responsible for off-campus housing for men and women at the former Oakland and Rooney halls. He also was a member of the university’s Judicial Board.

He was elected president of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Universities’ Counselor Association and of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Career Counselors Association.

Upon his retirement from IUP in 1997, he received the honor of faculty emeritus.

Frank was an elected member of the IUP Alumni Association Executive Committee and served on the IUP Co-op Board of Directors and the Foundation for IUP Board of Directors. He is a past treasurer of APSCURF (Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Retired Faculty). He served as a volunteer on the Academic Advisory Group, tutoring student-athletes, for 20 years and remains an active and visible fan of IUP athletics. He has also been a volunteer with admissions and with the university’s fundraising efforts.

In 1998, after serving as a volunteer for the late Congressman Murtha, he became a part-time field representative for Murtha in Indiana, Armstrong, and Westmoreland counties.

He is also active in the community, as a member of the Newman Center and the Vocations Club, and is a life member and past commander of the local VFW. He worked to make the Indiana War Memorial Wall a reality and has been a member of the Indiana Democratic Committee and the Indiana County Community Action Program. He has also been a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters (now Big Hearts Little Hands).

Frank and his wife, Jeannette, are the parents of two children, both IUP graduates, Janelle and Jeffrey, and four granddaughters.