Circling Back: Alumni Give and Get at Reunions

Posted on 6/17/2013 10:26:42 AM

Each year, hundreds of alumni gather to partake in the fun reunions usually symbolize, and those who attend often go the extra mile and choose to demonstrate their commitment by helping future alumni through scholarships. This small story does not cover them all—just a sampling—but in every case, the university family appreciates the impact alumni scholarship support has on the student experience.

Fifty-Year Reunion, Class of 1963

This year, 99 members of the Class of 1963 returned to campus to mark their golden anniversary of graduation. Annually the 50-year reunion class returns to celebrate over two days. Class members receive their Pioneer Medallions—presented only to alumni who graduated 50 years ago or more—and attend several planned gatherings, but most agree the weekend’s capstone is leading the graduating class during one of the university’s two commencement ceremonies. (See photo below.)

For many years, 50-year reunion classes have contributed to the Reunion Year Scholarship (Fund 0475), which has been presented to two students each year. The Class of 1963 added more than $15,000 to a total of more than $132,000 since the scholarship fund’s establishment.

Meant for upper-class students who are enrolled full-time, the scholarship fund makes awards to students who must be in good academic standing with at least a 3.0 grade point average and can demonstrate financial need. Preference is given to students who are children or grandchildren of IUP alumni.

Theta Chi Reunion

This year, 58 members of the Theta Chi fraternity returned to campus to see each other and, for the second year in a row, to also pay tribute to fraternity members lost in service to their country. (See photo below.)

Last year, Theta Chi fraternity, led by Carl Amenhauser ’65 and a group of other members, created a tribute to James Flannery ’69, a Theta Chi member, and Robert Young ’67, who died in the Vietnam War. This year, the same group created a tribute to Greg Spinelli ’70, an FBI agent who was killed in the line of duty.

Out of these tributes, the group’s members concluded they also wanted to go the extra mile and so established the Theta Chi Heroes Memorial Scholarship (Fund 0587). The fund has reached endowment level of $25,000, which means scholarship awards now may be distributed from it. IUP continues to welcome contributions to the fund, however, because a larger fund will provide larger award amounts for future deserving students.

Track and Field/Cross Country Reunion

A group of alumni from the Track and Field and Cross Country teams had been planning a reunion for months when, suddenly, they learned of the death of Robert Raemore, a long-time volunteer coach.

Raemore had coached hundreds of students over 34 years.

So, as 57 alumni returned for the reunion, which included a reception at the Coney Island and a dinner, retired Coach Ed Fry and others decided to establish the Dr. Robert M. Raemore Track and Field Endowment (Fund 0588) to memorialize a favorite coach and mentor. The fund has received several healthy contributions but awaits more support before reaching the endowment level of $25,000, necessary to begin assisting students.

Class of 1963 at commencement, 2013
Members of the Class of 1963 led the graduates as they processed into the arena.

Theta Chi Reunion, 2013
Alumni of Theta Chi fraternity visited campus for a reunion and to pay tribute to the late Greg Spinelli.