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A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his wife have gifted $25,000 to IUP to help students studying in the IUP Eberly College of Business and Information Technology.

The donation from J. Victor and Debra Conrad, of Cranberry Township, will establish the James Victor and Debra Conrad Business Scholarship at IUP.

Conrad, founder and independent financial advisor of PINNACLE Financial Strategies, LLC, works with clients to help them to fulfill their charitable goals. When IUP launched its Imagine Unlimited campaign, he felt it was the right time to make his gift, and he chose the Eberly College of Business because of how well it prepared him for his career.

“Costs of a college education continue to climb,” he said. “We wanted to help to bridge the gap for students. It really feels good to us to know that we are making a difference in the lives of others through our gift of scholarship support.”

As one of five children in the family, Conrad said that IUP was an affordable choice and it was close to home.

“IUP is a great combination of being big enough to have all of the options of larger school, but small enough to have great personal interactions,” he said. “As a student, I never felt lost, and I felt like I could really get involved.”

Conrad credits IUP’s Career Services Office (now the Career and Professional Development Center), and then director Dr. Ruth Riesenman with helping him to find his way with internships and moving forward in his career path.

When representatives from Arthur Andersen came to campus to recruit students for employment through the Career Services Office during Conrad’s senior year, he received a job offer from the firm and began his professional career there in 1987 as a staff auditor. During his career at Arthur Andersen, Conrad returned to campus several times as a representative of the company to meet with students and to help with recruitment and internships and enjoyed seeing Riesenman again.

His advice to students? “Network, network, network and maintain those relationships. You never know who might be able to help you in the future.”

The Eberly College of Business and Information Technology has been accredited by AACSB International, the premier business school accrediting body worldwide since 2001. Annually, about 500 students complete degrees in more than 20 majors in programs offered from undergraduate to Ph.D. levels.

“Scholarship support at all levels continues to make a true difference in the lives of our students,” IUP Vice President for University Advancement Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna said. “IUP alumni and friends are passionate in their support of this university, and especially, our students. We appreciate Mr. and Mrs. Conrad’s generosity. This gift will impact the future of hundreds of students.”

The gift from the Conrads is part of IUP’s $75 million Imagine Unlimited Campaign, which will enable IUP to step forward as a national leader by transforming the student experience through scholarships, program enhancements, and new and modernized facilities.