Alumni Couple's Commitment Sets New Science Facility in Motion

Posted on 1/27/2014 9:20:18 AM

Debra and Tim CejkaThe retired president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company and his wife have supported a new sciences and mathematics building at Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a $1.25 million gift.

Tim and Debra Cejka, of Houston, Texas, and Latrobe, both are IUP graduates.  Their gift is the first made toward the facility, which is in the planning stages.

“This is an instrumental gift. Science and mathematics graduates are in high demand, and such coursework is a key component in the preparation of health-care professionals and many others. IUP's science and mathematics faculty members are among the best in the country. Our current facility has served us well but just passed the half-century mark. A new building that can accommodate collaboration between science and math disciplines is a missing ingredient in our programming. With the Cejkas’ help, our science programs will flourish and provide the science community with new, highly qualified talent,” said IUP President Michael Driscoll.  

Both Cejkas are members of IUP’s Class of 1973. Tim Cejka retired as ExxonMobil Exploration’s president in 2010. He is a member of the university’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Alumni Advisory Board, which is consulting with university officials regarding programming and facilities that will best benefit future scientists.

“As alumni, Tim and Deb have demonstrated outstanding commitment for their university,” said Bill Speidel, vice president for University Advancement. “We can’t thank them enough for their support and, as a university community, we look forward to educating the next generation of the nation’s science and math leaders.”

More than 2,300 of IUP’s nearly 15,000 students pursue degrees in 51 undergraduate and eight graduate science and mathematics programs, but the new building also will serve students of all majors, who must take math and science as part of their core curriculum, and health-related majors who are required to take high-level science and mathematics courses.

In the photo: Debra and Tim Cejka