$1.4-Million Gift Supports Literacy Center, Other Initiatives

Posted on 3/6/2018 10:28:20 AM
William and Judy Scheeren

Two members of the College of Education and Communications Advancement Council have committed a $1.4-million gift to support several initiatives within the college.

The gift, by William and Judy Scheeren, focuses on IUP’s Literacy Center, which provides assessment and instruction for children and adolescents who need assistance with reading and writing. Graduate students pursuing reading specialist certification provide instruction to community children under the direction of faculty members. The center will be named in the Scheerens’ honor.

The Scheerens’ gift also supports the campus’s Labyrinth Center, established to assist IUP students with autism to thrive in the campus environment, and scholarships.

“Literacy is the keystone of an educated citizen and of our society. Effective literacy skills equate to higher levels of education, better employment opportunities, and a better future for all of us. Those skills are best acquired at a young age,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said. “The Scheerens’ gift in support of the Literacy Center in our College of Education and Communications reflects their strong belief in the power of education and IUP’s ability to prepare future teachers and serve our community. We are grateful for their trust and humbled by their generosity.”

Bill Scheeren, who graduated from IUP in 1968, is known by thousands of students and teachers in Westmoreland County as the retired chairman of the Hempfield Area School District’s library department. Judy Scheeren is a long-time technology professor at Westmoreland County Community College.