Indiana University of Pennsylvania honored recipients of the inaugural Presidential Legacy Awards during the IUP Legacy Gala in Pittsburgh on April 26, but the real beneficiaries of the event were IUP students.
Held at the Carnegie Museum Music Hall, the gala was a fundraising initiative to benefit the University Fund for Academic Excellence. It raised close to $150,000, well past the stated goal of $100,000.
“The University Fund for Academic Excellence is used to enrich the student experience, assisting with costs for students to participate in academic, programmatic and experiential expenses that provide direct benefit to current IUP students and expand the opportunities students can have beyond the classroom,” said Dr. Robert O. Davies, vice president for University Relations at IUP and executive director of the Foundation for IUP.
Funds are available to students for scholarships, travel and expenses related to conference presentations and research supplies and equipment, classroom materials and equipment, and faculty professional development aimed at improving academic programming.
Funding is also available for on-campus speakers and student participation in cultural, recreational and academic events away from IUP.
During the gala, Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president, presented the Presidential Legacy Award for Alumni Distinction to Terry Dunlap, 1981 IUP graduate and president of Allegheny Ludlum; the Presidential Legacy Award for Civic Service to Keenan Holmes, 2003 IUP graduate and former attorney at Law for Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott, LLC, Pittsburgh; and the Presidential Legacy Award for Philanthropy to the Fairman family, of Jefferson County.
“We were gratified to celebrate our recipients of the Presidential Legacy Awards at the IUP Legacy Gala in conjunction with enjoying IUP’s continued success and achievement as a national university that makes this region its home,” Davies said.
The evening included a silent auction with donated items valued at close to $50,000.
Items won by bidders included a tour of YouTube and dinner with YouTube founder Chad Hurley, a 1999 IUP graduate; a Disney Package; advertising on Comcast Cable; Steelers and Penguins packages; an Atlantic City trip; golf packages at Oakmont, Totteridge and Laurel Valley; and a private tour of the Andy Warhol Museum plus golf at the Aronimink Golf Club. People could bid on the items in advance of the event on the IUP website.
“It is very gratifying to have such an incredible response to both the Legacy Gala and the auction,” Davies said. “This certainly speaks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, and the commitment they feel to helping IUP students achieve beyond expectations.
“We also appreciate the support of First Commonwealth as our presenting sponsor, and the overwhelming support of the auction donors and Legacy Gala sponsors and attendees.”
Photos, from top:
Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president, right, with Terry Dunlap, winner of the Presidential Legacy Award for Alumni Distinction.
Atwater, left, with Keenan Holmes, recipient of the Presidential Legacy Award for Civic Service.
Atwater with Beverly Fairman, center, and Joyce Fairman. The Fairman family, of Jefferson County, was honored with the Presidential Legacy Award for Philanthropy.