IUP Home | A–Z Index | Apply Now | Support IUP | News and Events | Find People |

A Family of IUP Alumni Celebrates Its Scottish Heritage

April 18, 2008—The first of three generations of IUP alumni in this family began with Nancy Tobin Truxal ’51 and her brothers, Edwin Tobin ’51 and Warner Tobin ’51, who later became director of IUP’s University School.

Three Generations

Carly McLeod

Carly McLeod

Nancy met her future husband, Carl Truxal ’52, in the late 1940s at IUP. They were both Music Education majors. After graduation, they both worked for the Greensburg Salem School District.

Carl became the principal, and Nancy taught the high school choir program. They were married in 1952 and had three children—David ’76, Steven, and Susan ’79. All three children followed in their parents’ footsteps and were proud to attend IUP.

Their only daughter, Susan, reflects: “I had been going to IUP for Homecoming my whole life. I liked the campus, and the school has an excellent Music Education program.” As a result of her experiences and knowledge of the music education program, Susan, at an early age, made IUP her college of choice, with no persuasion from her parents.

As tradition goes, Susan met her future husband, Dale McLeod ’82, at IUP in the Music Education program. This second-generation couple married and also had three children: Carly, twenty-one, Allison, nineteen, and Ian, sixteen. Dale McLeod is the manager of the Claims Department at Travelers Insurance in Pittsburgh, and Susan currently works for the Derry Area School District and teaches music at Grandview Elementary School.

Members of the third generation are following in their parents’ and grandparents’ footsteps. Carly, a senior at IUP majoring in Communications Media, is actively involved on campus as the station manager for WIUP-TV. She is producer of the student-operated television show In a Nutshell and is president of the IUP chapter of the National Broadcasting Society.

Alli is currently attending IUP and is majoring in Child and Family Studies. She spends most of her out-of-class time involved with the entire McLeod family, which participates in a Scottish bagpipe band. Alli teaches private flourishing tenor drumming lessons to prospective band members.

The McLeod family

From left: Carly McLeod, brother Ian, mother Susan, father Dale, sister Allison

Ian is a sophomore at Franklin Regional High School and participates in the school’s drum line. He has not thought about college but realizes he could share the same opportunities that IUP created for his family. On the recommendation of an elementary school music teacher, Ian joined a pipe band that was in need of drummers. It was easy convincing his father to join the band, since his father was chaperoning Ian each week to practice. At only sixteen, Ian is the “lead stick” of the Balmoral Bagpipe Band and a highly accomplished soloist. In addition to this band, Ian also plays with the Grade One Band, based in Canada, which competed in Scotland at the World Pipe Band Championships.

The McLeod men were the first in the family to join the Balmoral Highlanders Pipe Band. Dale plays the bass drum, and his son, Ian, plays the snare. Their gentle persuasion convinced the McLeod women, who all play flourishing tenor, to become the newest additions to the Balmoral Highlanders Pipe Band. As part of this twenty-five-member band, they compete regionally in pipe band competitions, including the Ligonier Highland Games, Ohio Scottish Games, and the Capital District Scottish Games in Albany, New York. At the 2007 Ligonier Highland Games, the Balmoral Highlands Pipe Band won the Forbesway Trophy for First Place in the Grade III competition, and it also won the Lewis Davidson Trophy for the Best Local Band. The band’s members are now in their second season of competing together.

According to Allison, the McLeod family has always been united. “It has just always been like this,” she said. “Growing up, we ended up doing everything together. Carly played softball, so I signed up, and then Ian decided to sign up for baseball. Carly sang in the choir along with Mom and Nana, so I joined the choir, and now Ian sings also. With three generations attending the same university it just seemed natural for us to all end up being in the same pipe band together.”