Edward K. Bratton, of Indiana, will receive the 2011 President’s Medal of Distinction from David Werner, interim president, at the 2011 Leader’s Circle event March 24, 2011.
Bratton will be recognized for public service.
The President’s Medal of Distinction is the highest non-degree award presented by IUP. It was established in 1985 to honor citizens of the state and region whose contributions in the areas of professional achievement or public service are of national significance or whose contributions are of special significance to the university.
“IUP is very proud to honor Mr. Bratton with this award,” Werner said. “He has supported IUP in so many ways, from student scholarships to support for projects and programs that benefit both the university and community. He is a true humanitarian who cares deeply about his community and this university. It will be my pleasure to thank him in this formal way for his lifetime of service.”
Well-known for his support of community initiatives, Bratton has been honored with several prestigious awards for his service, including the Male Civic Leader of the Year award in 2002 for a lifetime of service to the community and the 2001 William Penn Distinguished Citizenship Award from the Penn’s Woods Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Chestnut Ridge District. In recognition of this honor, the Penn’s Woods Council established a Camp Seph Mack summer camp scholarship in Bratton’s name.
He also received the American Cancer Society Excalibur Award in 2002 and 2004, which recognizes community leaders and donors for exceptional generosity to the American Cancer Society. The annual Grocers Fight Cancer event at Giant Eagle has raised nearly $500,000 for cancer research and treatment. Bratton is owner of the local Giant Eagle, now in White Township.
The Red Cross honored Bratton in 2003 with the Exceptional Humanitarian Service Award in recognition of his more than forty years of service to the organization.
In 2000, he was named the GOP Man of the Year at the annual Indiana County Republican Men’s Club banquet for his lifetime contributions to the organization. He is a founding member of the club and was its first president.
Bratton has also been recognized by the United Way of Indiana County with membership in its Tocqueville Society, offered to those who contribute at least $10,000 annually to the United Way.
He was honored by IUP in 2004 with induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame and the annual Bell Ringer Award.
In November 2009, Bratton made a $1-million commitment for construction of the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. In recognition, the Council of Trustees designated the athletic suite in the Kovalchick Complex as the Edward K. and Joan R. Bratton Athletic Suite.
He has also provided funding for the Edward Bratton-George Hathaway Endowed Scholarship for athletics and is a supporter of the IUP Crimson Commons, a project to recognize student-athletes.
Bratton began his work in the grocery industry at Steiner’s Market in 1950 and with Giant Eagle in 1984. In addition to his ownership of the local Giant Eagle, he is co-owner of stores in Altoona, Ebensburg, and Bedford. He is founder of Giant Realty.
Bratton is known in the community for his commitment to many organizations, especially those that serve youth, including the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Future Farmers of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Indiana County (now Big Hearts, Little Hands), and the YMCA.
He is also a supporter of the Chevy Chase Community Center, Indiana County Community Action Program, Pathways Project, Visiting Nurse Association, Alice Paul House, Luther Ford Charity Golf Classic benefiting the unemployed of Indiana County, Indiana Group Homes, and the Meals on Wheels program.
He is a member of Calvary Presbyterian Church, for which he has served as chairman of the Stewardship Committee, institutional representative for the Boy Scouts, and a member of the Christian Education Committee, the Diaconate, and the Session.
He and his wife, Joan, are the parents of two children, Melinda and Timothy.