The late Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Lenzi received the 2003 IUP Distinguished Alumni Award for his numerous career accomplishments and dedicated service to his alma mater.
Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi received his Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from IUP in 1954. He also graduated as a member of IUP’s first ROTC class. He continued his education, receiving his Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from the University of Detroit. In addition, Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi completed military training in the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Defense Department Procurement Management School, and the U.S. Army Ordnance Advanced Officer School.
Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi served in the U.S. Army for twenty-five years until his retirement in 1979. Throughout his successful military career he served in Germany, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he was the chief of the ammunition division and executed a $2-billion budget. He also held the position of chief of staff for the U.S. Army Ordnance School. Representing the U.S. Army, in 1975 Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi returned to Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a professor of military science in an ROTC program with three hundred cadets. Under his leadership, the ROTC program became the third largest in the United States with over one thousand cadets. Throughout his military career, Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi received numerous honors, including two Legion of Merit awards, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals.
Following his retirement from the U.S. Army, Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi accepted the position of director of management and administration for the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce. In 1983, Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi again returned to his alma mater to become the first executive director of the Foundation for IUP. He served in this position for ten years and coordinated IUP’s first capital campaign. Under his leadership, the campaign successfully exceeded its goal and raised more than $4.5 million to support scholarships and programs at IUP, including the restoration of Breezedale Alumni Center on the IUP campus and the IUP Culinary School in Punxsutawney. Upon retirement from IUP in 1993, Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi became the executive director of the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana. Throughout the community he was recognized as being instrumental in the planning and development of the museum.
A respected leader in Indiana for many years, Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi was an avid volunteer and supporter of university and community projects. He served as president of the Indiana Rotary and was a member of the Indiana Arts Council, the Military Order of World Wars, and the Indiana VFW Post 1989. He also helped to lead fundraising efforts for the Newman Center and the Indiana Veterans’ Memorial Fund.
A native of North Braddock, in suburban Pittsburgh, Lieutenant Colonel Lenzi resided in Indiana with his wife, the former Helen Kraner. They have one daughter, Arlene Lenzi Miller, a 1978 graduate of IUP, and one son, Anthony John Lenzi.