August 31, 2023


Good afternoon.

Thank you for having me here with you as we open the new E-Sports Arena.

Thank you also to Mike Carnovale for your leadership in helping to create the E-Sports Arena that we’re opening today, to Lou Garzarelli for your overall leadership and dedication to the Co-Op’s mission, and to the E-Sports Club––who I am sure is beyond excited about today’s opening.

It’s interesting that we’re here also to celebrate the Student Co-Op’s 90th anniversary, which by nature means we’re looking back. And we’re doing so on a day when we’re opening this arena, which for some of us might seem about as far into the future as one could be.

But I think that’s one of the things that makes IUP so special. While we enjoy our traditions and take pride in the great things we have done, we have always had an eye on the horizon, planning for what’s next.

Today, what’s next for us is continuing to put our students and their needs first. That isn’t to say we’re working to make college easy for them. Rather, we’re working to eliminate roadblocks that keep students from reaching the commencement finish line.

We have listened to students and found that one of the issues that sometimes stands in their way is a feeling of isolation, that they don’t fit in. We have students coming from so many different places with so many different backgrounds and so many different needs, that we, as a university, must be flexible in finding ways to make our students feel at home so they can be comfortable and prepared to succeed.

I think a place like the E-Sports Arena is another great example of this. We have locations all over campus where students can meet and share interests and make the bonds that will last a lifetime, and this is another one that we are proud to now have.

Congratulations to the IUP Student Co-Op for creating this arena, and for 90 years of good work serving our students. We look forward to many more.

Thank you.