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Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (2014)

Brief Description:

Bloomsburg Celebrations home

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, a public, four-year institution, is one of 14 members of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Founded in 1839 as the Bloomsburg Literary Institute, the university enrolls about 9,200 undergraduate students in the Colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology and approximately 750 graduate students in upper-level programs, including the doctor of clinical audiology and new doctor of nursing practice. Eighty-eight percent of the university's students are Pennsylvania residents and approximately 8 percent hail from neighboring New Jersey. Leading undergraduate majors are accounting, biology and allied health sciences, communication studies, criminal justice, digital forensics, early childhood and adolescent education, management, marketing, nursing, psychology and special education.


Mission Statement:

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania logoBloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is an inclusive comprehensive public university that prepares students for personal and professional success in an increasingly complex global environment.

Visit Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania anniversary website


President's Quote:

"Our institution has grown over the past 175 years with name changes to reflect its expanding mission, from literary institute and normal school to today’s Bloomsburg University. However, the values that form Bloomsburg’s foundation have remained: collaboration, community, critical thinking, diversity, excellence, integrity, knowledge, opportunity, respect and personal and professional growth. These values are one of the many reasons I celebrate Bloomsburg University on this special anniversary of our founding."  — David L. Soltz, President

Major Accomplishments:

  • April 9, 1866: Henry Carver reopened the Bloomsburg Literary Institute.
  • Feb. 22, 1869: Bloomsburg Literary Institute recognized as a state normal school.
  • May 22, 1916: Bloomsburg State Normal School was purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Aug. 1, 1916: Name was changed to Bloomsburg State Normal School.
  • May 30, 1919: War Hero Memorial Pinery was dedicated in memory of students who died in World War I.
  • May 13, 1927: Name was changed to Bloomsburg State Teachers College.
  • June 10, 1927: First bachelor’s degree was awarded to Arthur C. Jenkins.
  • Feb. 19, 1954: The Bloomsburg Beacon on Carver Hall, BU’s landmark building, was lit and dedicated to students killed in World War II.
  • Jan. 8, 1960: Name was changed to Bloomsburg State College.
  • Jan. 31, 1962: Bloomsburg received approval to confer the first master’s degree.
  • May 2, 1982: The first Athletic Hall of Fame class was inducted.
  • July 1, 1983: Bloomsburg became part of the new Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
  • July 7, 1983: Named changed to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Oct. 28, 1995: Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker, class of 1975, announced release of state funds for construction of new library.
  • Oct. 31, 2008: David L. Soltz, Bloomsburg’s current president, was inaugurated.
  • Sept. 8, 2011: Campus was closed for 10 days due to historic flood in town of Bloomsburg.
  • Sept. 21, 2010: The official fall enrollment reached 10,000 for the first time.
  • April 26, 2013: Bloomsburg University announced $1 million donation from Duane R. and Susan Greenly, class of 1972, to BU Foundation for the institution’s first downtown building.


Fun Facts:

  • Local children attended elementary school on campus at the Ben Franklin Training School from 1869 to 1967.

  • Programs for prospective officers and flight instructors, Navy V-12 and V-5, kept the school in operation during World War II. Many classes were held in Navy Hall, named in their honor.

  • The husky was designated college mascot on Oct. 9, 1933. The costumed husky made its first appearance on Oct. 6, 1979.

  • Bloomsburg University’s website debuted in September 1994 and is believed to be one of the first 100 websites in the United States.

  • Michael Shepard, professor of environmental, geographical and geological sciences, served on the NASA Mars Explorations Rover Landing Site Selection Committee.

  • The nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer housed in Hartline Science Center looms as large as a commercial refrigerator and enables students and faculty to get detailed information about the molecular structure of samples.

  • Bloomsburg University has been honored five times with the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition of a college or university for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. Volunteers contribute an estimated 68,520 service hours annually, valued at $1.4 million.

  • Bloomsburg is home to the first on-campus student apartment complex in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Montgomery Place Apartments, which opened in 1989.

  • More than 200 student clubs and organizations—ranging from community service, arts, business, athletics, fun and entertainment—give students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, creativity and personal growth. More than 85,000 students have graduated from Bloomsburg, including 63,000 living alumni.


Notable Alumni:

  • H. Keffer Hartline, class of 1920, Nobel Prize co-winner in physiology and medicine
  • Danny Litwhiler, class of 1938, major league baseball player who invented Diamond Grit and Jugs radar gun
  • Chuck Daly, class of 1952, coach of NBA’s Detroit Pistons and the 1992 Summer Olympics’ Dream Team
  • Eileen Albertson Chapman, class of 1967/master's 1969, head of faith-based social services agency, AGAPE
  • Jon Stoner, class of 1973, Colorado River guide
  • Barbara Benner Hudock, class of 1975, CEO and founding partner of Hudock Moyer Wealth Resources
  • Mark Schweiker, class of 1975, 44th governor of Pennsylvania
  • David Williams, class of 1981, CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Bette Anderson Grey, class of 1982, founder of Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine Clinic
  • Rebecca (Funk) Campbell, class of 1983, president of ABC-owned Television Stations Group
  • Tracey Dechert, class of 1988, trauma surgeon Boston Medical Center
  • Vincent Ottomanelli, class of 1988, president and regional director, Ferragamo USA
  • Susan Dallabrida, class of 1993, director of clinical science and consulting, PHT Corp.
  • Andie Summers, class of 1996, morning show host on Philadelphia’s country music station, 92.5 XTU
  • Jimmi Simpson, class of 1998, Broadway, TV and film actor
  • John Wetzel, class of 1998, Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections and member of Bloomsburg University Council of Trustees
  • Irv Sigler, class of 1999, winner of the 1997 Harlon Hill Award as top Division II player of the year
  • Susan Fetterman, class of 2000/master’s 2004, vice president of operations, division of medicine, Geisinger Health System
  • Nicole Premuto Fountain, class of 2003, senior manager of public relations, MetLife Stadium
  • Jahri Evans, class of 2007, offensive guard with New Orleans Saints
  • Chad Gerhard, class of 2010, strength and conditioning coach, U.S. Snowboarding Half-pipe and U.S. Aerials teams, 2014 Winter Olympic Games
  • Joseph Fisher, class of 2013, reporter with KSWO-TV, Lawton, Okla.
  • Franklyn Quiteh, class of 2013, winner of the 2013 Harlon Hill Award as top Division II player of the year



"Bloomsburg has allowed me the opportunity to define myself."
– Tessa Varias, ’13

"Bloomsburg serves as a pathway for me to be the best I can."
– Rebecca Kestel, ’14

"I looked at the business program and saw it was accredited. I then visited and fell in love."
– Juan Jimenez, ’14

"My four years at Bloomsburg sculpted me from rough stone to a slightly less than polished statue. Always striving to become a better man, husband, father and alumni."
– Cameron Smith ’84

"In our family, we have five generations of Huskies! From the class of 1929 to the current generation, one a senior and the other a graduate student, we have all chosen Bloomsburg because it has passed the test of earlier generations and continues to provide a quality education for the current generation. As Bloomsburg evolved from the Normal School to Bloomsburg State Teachers College to Bloomsburg State College to Bloomsburg University, our family has been there to prove that our alma mater truly has stood the test of time."
– Saundra McBride Blackburn," ’58

"BU prepared me not only academically, but socially, for the world after college. I love that Bloomsburg was an accessible school for me. I love that Bloomsburg challenged me. I love that, nearly 30 years later, Bloomsburg is still home for me, and when I visit, I can see my family."
– Jeannine Dennison Yecco, ’86

"Bloomsburg is the place that made my long-awaited dream to obtain a B.S. degree in elementary education become a reality. This is the place where I pushed myself harder than anywhere to succeed, in spite of the physical setbacks I endured upon my return to the college after many years’ absence to get married and start a family. This is a place where I encountered quite a few professors who understood where I was coming from and what I needed to succeed. … I love Bloomsburg for making me who I am today — a college graduate in the field of my dreams!"
– Renee N. Forte, ’12

"The thing I love most about Bloomsburg is the opportunity to meet people and form a community on campus. In my many years of involvement on this campus, I’ve seen several classes come and go. Many things have changed about the campus over the years, and the faces change too. But the families of friends we build while we’re here endures, as does the campus community."
– Maximilian Van der Mark-Geary, ’12


  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662