During its annual Celebration of Philanthropy on Friday night, IUP announced it has increased its comprehensive fundraising campaign goal to $75 million at the same time it announced two multimillion-dollar gifts from alumni with local ties.
Char Labay Kopchick ’73 and John Kopchick ’72, M’75
Called Imagine Unlimited, the campaign originally was expected to reach $40 million, but according to campaign cochair William Madia, an IUP alumnus from Montara, California, the generosity of alumni and friends has exceeded expectations.
“It is apparent that our alumni and friends are very committed to IUP, and with enthusiasm, we expect to reach $75 million in the course of the next three years,” Madia said.
During the evening, IUP President Michael Driscoll turned the podium over to Tim and Deb Cejka of Latrobe, who announced they would commit an additional $2 million to the $5 million they already have given. Their most recent gift completes the match required
by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of General Services to begin construction of a new facility for science and mathematics.
“We are so impressed with all the work we’ve seen at IUP in the last several years,” Tim Cejka said. “We believe in the university’s vision. We believe in the vision of [IUP’s] College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
We have confidence in the dean and the faculty.”
“For those reasons we are pleased to ensure the new science facility is everything our students need it to be to become the next leaders in science, industry, health care, and education,” Deb Cejka added.
Driscoll then turned the program over to John and Char Kopchick, IUP alumni from Athens, Ohio, who announced that they would contribute $23 million toward science and mathematics initiatives—the largest single gift in the university’s history.
“We hope this university, where first-generation college students find eye-opening experiences—where we received our start—continues to flourish and reaches new heights,” John Kopchick said.
Bill Madia '69, M’71 and Audrey DeLaquil Madia ’70
“The extraordinary commitments made this evening and those we’ve received toward the campaign before tonight’s announcements are an overwhelming testimony of how IUP alumni truly believe in what we do here,” Driscoll said. “I see no limits to what IUP
can accomplish as we prepare the next generation of leaders and as we make a positive and transformative impact on our region.”
The Imagine Unlimited Campaign will fund student-centered initiatives at the university. In addition to the new science building, the campaign will benefit a wide range of scholarships, an executive-in-residence program for IUP’s Eberly College of Business
and Information Technology, programmatic support for the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement,
support for health care simulation programs and facilities, and more, Driscoll said.
With the evening’s announcement of new gifts, the campaign is currently at $53 million.
Other notable gifts to the Imagine Unlimited campaign have come from Madia and his wife, Audrey, also an IUP alumna, who committed $1 million to science and mathematics initiatives; William and Judy Scheeren of Greensburg, who committed $1.4 million to
initiatives in the College of Education and Communications; and Terry Serafini of Pittsburgh, who gave $1 million in support of initiatives
in mathematics, business, and a campus beautification project.
John and Char Kopchick were raised in Indiana and Sagamore, Armstrong County, respectively. Both are associated with Ohio University. John Kopchick is a professor of molecular biology and the Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar. He is a co-inventor of the drug
Somavert, which combats acromegaly, a growth hormone disorder. Char Kopchick serves as assistant dean of students.
Deb Phillips Cejka ’73 and Tim Cejka ’73
Tim and Deb Cejka, both alumni, split their time between Latrobe and Houston. Tim Cejka is the retired president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company and vice president of ExxonMobil Corp. The Cejkas cochair the Natural Sciences and Mathematics component of the campaign.
Bill and Audrey Madia serve as the Imagine Unlimited Campaign’s cochairs. Bill Madia’s scientific career has included executive positions with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Battelle. He currently serves as vice president and chairman of the Board
of Overseers for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University. Audrey Madia is an accomplished interior designer.