A gift from an alumnus complements a new step IUP has taken toward its commitment to providing resources to military-related families.
Several years ago, Stephen Abel, a member of the Class of 1973, included provisions for IUP in his will to create an emergency fund for veterans as they enroll or return to IUP and await their military benefits. In connection to the opening of university’s new Military Resource Center in early April, Abel has pledged $25,000 to help expedite the fund’s growth.
Since his retirement from the U.S. Army, at the rank of colonel, Abel has worked in veterans affairs, first for the State of New Jersey and currently as the founding director of Rutgers University’s Veterans and Military Services operation. In recognition of his work, the G.I. Go Fund honored him in 2012 with its Leadership in Military and Veteran Education Award.
Abel was inducted into the IUP ROTC Hall of Fame last month. In September 2013, he was inducted into the IUP at Northpointe Hall of Distinction.
“IUP’s Military Resource Center affirms the university’s support to the men and women who make certain our nation’s freedom, including our right to study and speak freely,” said Bill Speidel, vice president for University Advancement. “Colonel Abel’s generous gift will add to the resources we need to do right by this special population of students. We are grateful for his support and dedication to IUP.”
An initiative of IUP President Michael Driscoll, the Military Resource Center assists veterans and active-military personnel and their families with achieving their educational goals. The center is housed in the campus’s Pratt Hall.