​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​System Success stories

Our universities and alumni have come together in a variety of ways to give back to their communities and express gratitude through service.

Success Highlights​​​​

For decades, the nursing department at Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg has consistently ranked among the best in the state, having educated thousands for one of the most critical careers in the healthcare field. The Charles B. Degenstein Foundation gave a $500,000 matching grant to support the creation of the Nursing Simulation Center.

Through Cheyney University's TRiO Student Support Services program, what started as small donations has expanded into a complete food pantry program that was recognized as a PA Hunger-Free Campus by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in September. Cheyney is one of eight higher education institutions in the state to receive the designation. Cheyney’s participation in TRiO established the commitment it has to lessen food insecurity and forge student success.

When children are put into foster care, they are often separated not just from their parents but also from their siblings. That can add an extra level of trauma for a child who is already experiencing great upheaval and distress. With that in mind, Samii Emdur ’08, an East Stroudsburg University graduate with a degree in nursing, founded Camp to Belong River Valley in 2019.

For the sixth year in a row, students in Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Rho Tau Chi military service fraternity are committed to helping homeless veterans in Indiana County and western Pennsylvania through the Homeless Heroes Holiday Stocking Project. The project provides toiletries and other necessities to homeless veterans during the holidays; the toiletries are “packaged” in Christmas stockings.​

Kutztown University, which was recently named a 2022 Best For Vets: College by Military Times for the eighth consecutive year, provides a wide range of services to the university's active veterans community as part of its commitment to welcoming and supporting military students. The university's partnership with Folds of Honor Foundation, an organization that provides life-changing academic scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen or disabled U.S. service members and first responders, extends this commitment and acknowledges the sacrifice of our nation's heroes.

For the last decade, Matt Avery, a 1987 Lock Haven University graduate and former wrestler, and his wife, Maureen, have been avid supporters of Lock Haven's head wrestling coach, Scott Moore, and the Bald Eagles' nationally recognized wrestling program. The Averys are honored to provide financial assistance to student-athletes competing for the program Matt once proudly wrestled for.

The importance of music for developing healthy communities and societies has been known since ancient times. Plato said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” However, in a time of limited public funds, music is often cut in favor of more “practical” disciplines. Given this reality, it is important that we, as private individuals, support institutions that continue to feed the soul of our communities through music. Commonwealth University-Mansfield and its vocal music program is such an institution.

November is Native American Heritage Month, and in preparation, Millersville University released a Land Acknowledgment statement. MU anthropology professor Dr. Marlene Arnold and Dr. Tanya Kevorkian, professor of history at MU, have researched the history of the area surrounding what is now Millersville University to ensure the land acknowledgment includes all people who resided here in the past to the best of our historical knowledge, based on history and archaeology.  

When California, Clarion, and Edinboro joined to become Pennsylvania Western University in July, new and exciting opportunities expanded on the longstanding customs of each campus. Among the traditions that each will retain is how the campus community – both employees and students – gives during the holiday season.

Shippensburg University ROTC cadets Brad Cole and Ben Delozier and Lt. Col. Nicole Jepsen, professor of Military Science, traveled to Hellimer, France, to honor Capt. Joseph Giacobello, a former student of the Shippensburg State Teachers College and World War II veteran. Giacobella was a junior in good standing at Shippensburg State Teachers College when he answered the call of duty to serve his country in 1942, was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant and was assigned to the 35th Infantry Division, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment. 

After nearly two months together under the same roof, Kellee Gnipp needed peace of mind before leaving her daughter overnight in the neonatal intensive care unit at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. That's when nurses wheeled in a cart full of children's books and recording devices that were donated to the hospital by Slippery Rock University's Physician Assistant Program.

During its five-week winter break when most students leave campus, West Chester University​ will continue its tradition of helping Promise Program students who do not have homes by providing, at no cost, rooms in the residence halls, meals, and the friendship of university staff. Thanks to a university-wide holiday drive organized by head football coach Bill Zwaan with the help of staff in the Division of Student Affairs and Deputy Director of Financial Aid Tori Nuccio, gifts for 43 Promise Program students are being collected now through December 13.