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The focus of the 2017-2018 Student Giving Challenge was the Grant Street Park Project (above). The project turned a section of Grant Street into a green space on campus for students. 

Students at IUP have had a tradition of making class gifts for the school since the late 1800s. The focus for this year is “Pick Your Passion.”

Class gifts are a way for current students to pay it forward and show their love for the institution. There have been all different types of gifts throughout the years from desks to sundials.

In addition to monetary gifts, there have been gifts that go towards the institution whether that is indoors or outdoors. An example of this would be trees being a gift one year and stained glass windows another.

Starting Nov. 30, Stephen Abel, a graduate of 1973, will provide $10,000 in order to match funds for the Student Giving Challenge. Abel has been a supporter of IUP’s Veterans Assistance Fund and Military and Veterans Resource Center. IUP played a significant role in his life which is why it is important to him to give back.

These visible demonstrations show their satisfaction and love for the institution and continue to advance the reputation and strength of the alma mater. This benefits students throughout their careers as they receive millions in scholarships which is a great number of them funded through private donations.

“Our Division of University Advancement and the Foundation for IUP takes the responsibility of managing gifts very seriously,” Michelle Fryling, executive director of Media Relations, said.

“They track all gifts, and they also report to the donors how the money is spent.”

A student’s IUP experience has largely been supplemented by students past and present, alumni, faculty, staff, friends, corporations, and foundations as tuition and state funds cover less than 25 percent of a student’s IUP education. Supporting IUP through giving back to the student giving project, a favorite program or department will help students ensure their own IUP experience is the best that it can be.

The tradition of giving and commitment to IUP has not changed, but a new gift to students donating $100 has started recently where they will be given a spot in IUP’s Future Leaders Council.

In addition, publications, such as the U.S. News & World Report, use philanthropy as a factor to rank IUP and determine overall student satisfaction. When they evaluate grant funding and prospective gifts, the foundations and corporations use these rankings as a factor.

The student giving has had a significant influence on the university. It has allowed for growth in IUP’s reputation and ongoing strength.

Looking back to 1934, the amount of the Jane E. Leonard Memorial loan fund was $12,917. From the interest and gifts, the amount increased by $1,545. In the same year, the class of 1913 donated $50, and the class of 1923 donated $523.77 along with other donations from alumni.

The decision of the gift is up to the graduating class along with what item the class chooses to fund in most cases. The amount donated has been linked to the graduating year. For example, the class of 2022 would be asked to donate $20.22. If students are unable to donate, they can contribute by volunteering on campus, being a student leader and getting involved in the IUP Ambassadors.

If you are looking to donate, you can contact iup-giving@iup.edu.

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