Members of IUP’s Leadership Society, IUP’s premier society for those who give to the Annual Fund, recently gathered at the official residence on South Campus for a thank-you reception.
The society, which includes donors who give an annual gift of $500 or more to IUP through the Foundation for IUP, currently includes approximately 750 members.
Several student scholarship recipients attended the event to mix with donors and talk about how scholarships have assisted them. Jamie Czech, a Human Resource Management and Psychology dual major who has benefited from the Eberly Family Scholarship and a Deans Merit Scholarship, addressed the guests on behalf of all the students.
“In all honesty, I would probably not be standing in front of you at this moment if not for donor generosity,” said Czech, who is shown in the photo. “These funds have given me faith and pride in my school and in the dedicated, successful people IUP produces. I have the opportunity to make the most of my education and become whatever I so choose because of this generosity. And, although my career path is blurred, the honor of receiving these scholarships tells me, ‘Hey Jamie, you must be doing something right!’ So I just want to thank the donors to the IUP Leadership Society for investing in my future and in me.”
Bill Speidel, associate vice president for Development, also addressed the guests.
“Part of philanthropy’s magic is that it is not just for the very rich. As the saying goes, many hands make light work, and so when the university’s alumni and friends pull together to give at the Leadership level, we know IUP has done something to inspire you,” said Speidel. “Of course, it’s no secret that we wait to hear the outcome of the state’s budget. The effect it could have on our students could make things difficult for them.
“Understanding what it could mean, we are now concentrating on the Sutton Scholarship (formerly Academic Achievement Scholarship), a new scholarship for high-achieving students. The idea is to provide our undergraduate admissions office the ability to award the most deserving students a financial award upon their admission that is renewable for four years. It is important that IUP continue to recruit students, but we think it’s important to try to attract the very best students we can. That’s the goal of this new fund, to enroll at IUP serious students who will not only excel in school but also become loyal advocates for us after they graduate.”
Speidel stressed that private gifts to the university can have a significant impact on the university, particularly in light of the steady decrease in state funding, which is now at roughly 30 percent of the university’s budget. As the state funding decreases, tuition generally rises, making scholarship support more important than ever. Speidel also said private gifts are IUP’s only source of scholarship support.
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