Who are the septuagenarians and octogenarians you’ll see wandering around the campus on Friday, May 4?
They are IUP Pioneers. Annually, the Alumni Relations Office hosts a luncheon for IUP alumni who graduated 50 years ago or more. This year, alumni from 1962 and earlier are eligible to receive Pioneer Medallions, awarded to those who attend the luncheon sponsored by the Alumni Association. Sutton Hall occupants, in particular, notice the Pioneer class members.
“Every year on the day of the luncheon, at least a few roam the halls, looking for their old rooms,” said Susan Kirchner, who has worked in the Communications Office for the last decade and in Sutton Hall nearly three decades. “Sometimes, we are able to help them, and sometimes we help them figure out their rooms no longer exist. Either way, we enjoy their visit. They have such great memories of their years here, when IUP was Indiana State College or State Teachers College.”
According to Mary Morgan of the Alumni Relations Office, 42 alumni and guests will attend the luncheon, which takes place in the Blue Room on the first floor of Sutton Hall, IUP’s original building, which served a residence and classroom facility.
“Hosting the Pioneer alumni on campus each year is such a rewarding experience for the staff and the students. Students learn from these alumni about a very different campus life in the 1940s through the early 1960s, and they also learn that IUP was committed to teaching excellence then as it is today. The staff is in awe of the accomplishments and life experiences these alumni have had since graduation,” Morgan said.
The alumni will also enjoy a tour of Sutton Hall, a tour of campus, and an afternoon tea.
The Class of 1962 will also celebrate its 50-year reunion next week. Festivities include members of the class participating in the morning Commencement ceremony in Kovalchick Complex.