What We Love About Bloomsburg University

Where I Grew Up

Cameron Smith ’84, his wife Sandi Wood Smith’86 and twin daughters Kristen and Rebecca visit BU in 2006.

It’s where I grew up. Not as a small child, but rather in my growth from a naïve high schooler from the Philly suburbs to the adult I continue striving to become. What was Bloomsburg State College upon my arrival would become Bloomsburg University before my departure. Similarly, I matured from a skinny, pimple-faced adolescent to a young man, confident in my ability to excel at graduate school and ultimately to provide a positive impact to a future employer and community.

Starting out on an all-freshman dorm floor, I learned much from guys from various backgrounds and we became a close-knit group, with some of whom I remain in touch. During my four-year tenure at BSC/BU, I expanded my interests, trying lots of new stuff — like Quest — and truly enjoyed the activities and opportunities afforded us in a safe environment.

I found, and lost, my first love at BSC. I also found my second love there. Many on-campus activities and late-night talks would ultimately lead to the recent celebration of two-dozen years of marriage to my best friend.

After graduation, we returned often, and I enjoyed a six-year stint on the BU Alumni Board. While my civic pride started at BU, it spread well beyond the campus, as a volunteer fireman, 20+ gallon blood donor, and active member of other community organizations.

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


Ideal College Experience

Bloomsburg has something for everybody. A town fair of nationwide renown. A nationally recognized view from the Redman Stadium. A variety of athletic programs with lauded reputations. A campus that is both large and beautiful.

Bloomsburg embodies the ideal college experience filled with the potential for memorable academic and extra-curricular experiences.

—Tim Janke ’09


It’s What You Make It

What do I love about Bloomsburg? The unrivaled atmosphere, the ambience of the campus, the small-town feel. Walking in front of Carver Hall on a crisp autumn day makes you proud to be a Husky. The loyalty of alumni. The memories made from the Bloomsburg experience. Bloomsburg is what you make it, that’s why it’s so great.

—Chris Massell ’09


Support System of Friends

I love Bloomsburg. The day I visited back in 1985, I knew I had found the perfect place to spend the next four years. Fast forward to move-in day in 1986; now, not so sure. Like most freshman, I was terrified. Walking into Columbia Hall, a girl with the kindest face said, all in one breath, “Hi, I’m Stacey, want a Wheat Thin?” She handed me the box, we started talking, found out we were on the same floor and wing, and a friendship was born. That chance encounter, legend in our circle of friends, has led to some of the best friendships of my life.

When I needed a shoulder to cry on, or a ride home, or something as simple as an ice cold Pepsi … the “9th floor Columbia girls” were always there. That continues to this day. We all got along so well, we ended up forming a new sorority with another group of girls that had a bond like ours. Since then, Phi Sigma Sigma has grown to be one of the biggest sororities on campus and I couldn’t be prouder. I am most thankful, though, for Stacey, Jill, Marganne, Joanne, Gina, Bonnie, Joann, Tina, Lisa … the list goes on, and you all know who you are.

The decision to go to Bloomburg led me to these ladies and the support system that has endured over 20 years.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bloomsburg!

—Angela Bistline Reighard ’90


A Place to Grow

My story: We came from Guatemala 10 years ago. My daughter, Evelynn, was just 11 years old; me no English at all. Because she was attending a bilingual school in Guatemala, she had the basics but thanks to Bloomsburg University she has reached so much knowledge and made, from my little girl, a very talented and outgoing and amazing woman. I think there is no better place for a girl to grow like Bloomsburg University.

Next year my little one is going to college too and guess what? Josselynn Hernandez is her name and she was already accepted to start in fall 2013. I am so happy for this opportunity to express my feelings and I know for sure that my little one will be as successful as her big sister.

Thank you, Bloomsburg University, and thank you to all those teachers that have the courage and love and give it to our kids.

—Aura de Leon


Happy Memories

Bloomsburg to me has always held happy memories. When I first came to Bloomsburg, I hoped to make new friends and not get lost while finding my way around campus. My twin brother and my boyfriend, who is now my husband, also attended Bloomsburg so it was nice to see familiar faces.

I made friends and enjoyed college life. I was told to enjoy my time in college. How could I possibly miss 6 to 9 p.m. night classes and walking through the Quad in the snow? I wish I had taken that advice. I miss the freedom of not having to work every day and I miss the friends I made.

As I look back, I recall many fond memories of when my boyfriend and I began talking about getting engaged as we walked past the dress shop downtown and when we grew tired of hanging out after class and eating on campus so we had a date night at Balzano’s. My husband and I are thankful for the time we had in Bloomsburg which formed a strong friendship and bond that has stayed with us all along. We always look forward to going to the Bloomsburg Fair and seeing what has changed as we walk around. Bloomsburg, to me, has always been a place that brings back memories and we look forward bringing our children here so that they can experience the happiness and fondness that we feel when we go “home” to Bloomsburg.

—Lindsay Young Ewing ’09


 ‘A Piece of Iron’

I love Bloomsburg because it took a raw, twisted piece of 18-year-old iron and forged it into a man. I was a bright, but troubled kid. I never even entertained the fact that I would go to college until my teacher — Rick Morgans, a Bloomsburg University alumnus — took me to visit some colleges, and the last stop on our travels was this stellar institution on the hill. I had acceptance letters from every school I applied to, but this is where I didn’t just want to go — no, this is where I belonged.

When I enrolled, I forged friendships with five pals who altered my introversion and gave me confidence to be the man I was to become. I joined six organizations that would change the face of the university, and continually improve it and its citizenship there. I met seven professors who, to call each a mentor, would be an understatement. But most of all, I, like the 8,000 other students who enrolled and were educated at Bloomsburg University, met my destiny.

Today I continue to live that proud tradition that began at Bloomsburg University, and my pennants hang proudly from all walls of my classroom. I hope to return one day as a professor to give the future students of the school everything it endowed upon me, untwisting the iron for the next generation.

—Jake Miller ’05


Five Generations

Who loves Bloomsburg? I am proud to answer that in our family, we have five generations of Huskies! Why do we love Bloomsburg? 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


The Best Place

I once read a quote, and although the author is listed as unfamiliar, it reminds me of my time at Bloomsburg University: “Don’t be afraid to take an unfamiliar path; sometimes they’re the ones that take you to the best places.” Those words sum up my time as a Husky, in a place that seemed far away from home, and in which I entered alone and left with a family.

Bloomsburg University is a place I chose for reasons that, nearly 30 years later, elude me. What I am sure of, however, is that my choice was the right one. While at Bloom, I learned to manage my time, prioritize my actions, think of my actions, and most importantly, think of others. I arrived at Bloomsburg a self-centered freshman, and left as team-playing adult.

At the end of my first year at Bloom, I went through Rush and successfully made my way into a sorority, where I ultimately held several positions. Because of my involvement with the school’s Greek community I established many lifelong relationships and learned many valuable skills. I had a lot of good times, too!

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


The Best

Cannot resist: Hess’s, Berrigans, Elwell, Carver Hall, Panty Raids, Casper, Luigi’s Pizza, Greek Week, and the girl I left behind… “Best State School now University this side of the Rockies…”

Don F. Calu ’75




Mentors All

I attended Bloomsburg from 1970-1974 as an undergraduate and then from 1974-1976 to get my MA in history and MS in French. Later I returned and got an MA in art history in 1984. (I had received my Ph.D in history from Penn State in 1981). What I loved most about Bloomsburg when I was there was the wonderful teachers I had the honor of knowing and learning from. Dr. E.W. Smithner and Mme. John for French, Dr. Ralph Smiley as my mentor for the history master’s, a truly fine gentleman and scholar. Jim Sperry, Dick Anderson, Tony Sylvester, all in history and all fine men and great teachers. Tony inspired me to become a history teacher and Dr. Smithner, (who just passed away this past year) inspired me to teach French. Bob Koslosky was my mentor for art history and I owe him my career as an art historian for the past 25 years. God bless all these fine men and women who taught me, encouraged me and inspired me to become a teacher myself. My heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all of you.

—Patrick Dunn O’Neill ’74/’76M/’84M


It’s the Wrestling

I love athletics at BU! I follow most of the teams on the Internet and I take an active part in wrestling because of the successful teams through the years. Coach Stutzman is doing a super job at BU. As a member of championship teams in the late 1950s and early 1960s, I still carry a wonderful passion for college wrestling.

—Don Poust ’63


Lasting Bonds

Shown, from left, seated, are: Al Schoch, Ernie Lemoncelli, Ed Minner and Joe Vaughn; back row: Todd Talarico, Mike Domin, Craig Rohrbaugh, Bob Woolslager, Damian Davison, David Decoteau, Paul Litwin, Rick Dixon, Scott Stulmuller and Bob Snyder.

Innocence is part of any love affair. All my memories of Bloomsburg start with wide-eyed innocence. From my first days spent in rural central PA, until the time I graduated: those four-plus years were filled with firsts. First time away from home; making my own decisions. First time I started feeling comfortable in my own skin. First time I decided to step out of what I thought was expected and start being my own man.

One of the best decisions I made at Bloomsburg University, one that solidified my love for the place, happened almost by accident. A few friends and I decided to join a Greek organization. This was something uncharacteristic that I would have never done as just one in a crowd at my high school. But with my new-found Bloomsburg confidence, came a spirit of adventure.

Joining a fraternity seemed like the peak of college adventure to me! And I wasn’t disappointed. As a fraternity member, I made bonds that last to this day. My wife. My wedding party. And probably my funeral procession will all be composed of people I met during my time as a fraternity brother of Delta Pi.
Those people and that organization changed my life. It taught me responsibility. It gave me life skills, and it gave me friends that endure today. I thank Bloomsburg for that opportunity and the university will always hold a special place in my heart for those reasons.

—David Decoteau ’86



I love the trees, especially in all of their multitude of colors during autumn. Bloomsburg really is a beautiful place to be and to go to college in the fall. I love the nostalgic memories I have of friends and good times that I sorely miss since I graduated in December. I’ll never forget that this is where I truly grew from a boy to a young man, and have taken on the associated responsibilities and purpose with which to continue after I graduate. I’ve changed so much in these past few years, and I’ll always look at quaint old Bloomsburg with a feeling of happiness, for the great memories with lovers, and for my time spent amongst the quiet perfection of the trees.

—Zachary Petrecca ’12


First Love

When you look back, this is often when things make a lot more sense. However, as I reflect, I’m not sure if I chose Bloomsburg or Bloomsburg chose me. As with many of us, my story starts as a young high school grad, dealing with being a nervous wreck and a very anxious “can’t-wait-to-be-on-my-own,” perplexed guy with the heavy thought of starting the next chapter of his life. But, as soon as my folks pushed me out of the car and were out of sight, I know now, I was captured. The mountains, the buildings, the town, the people … all of it! And then falling in love.

I am living the cliché that you never forget your first love! With each journey back for Homecoming, I once again become a nervous wreck and become quite anxious, as I relive the time that treated me so fine. I am so fortunate that my memories are good ones. Whoever chose who, I guess really doesn’t matter, I’m just glad that it happened!

—Joe O’Donnell ’82


It is What You Make It

I graduated Bloomsburg University in spring of 2010. I had to do an internship to be able to get my diploma after I walked with my classmates. The process was tough and ended up being very fulfilling in the end as I learned many things from my internship in Philadelphia, Pa. I made the experience my own and enjoyed the freedom I had.

To me, Bloomsburg University was a type of school where you made your own fun, you made your own career, and you made your own love of the school: good or bad. The town itself doesn’t compare to State College or Philadelphia, but if you make it your own, it can. The town wasn’t always in the best of shape, but if you make it as good as it can, you loved it.

The point of all this is while the university isn’t a huge campus or the town isn’t a huge town, it is what you make it. My friends and I made it the best we could and treated it the best we could and while doing that we had the best four years of our lives. Maroon and Gold all day!

—Alan Resnick ’10


Field of My Dreams

What I love about Bloomsburg is that this 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. Without their help I wouldn’t have been ready to graduate in December.

I love that even though I am a non-traditional student, a lot older than most of my classmates, everyone from classmates to instructors went out of their way to help me out with any questions or concerns I may have had with anything from accessing information in the library to finding certain rooms or buildings on campus — although I know my way around pretty well by now!

The calmness and peace of mind I felt every time I visited stores or restaurants in between my classes, both on campus and in town, were like a little piece of heaven. So, in short, I love Bloomsburg for making me who I am today — a college graduate in the field of my dreams!

—Renee N. Forte ’12


‘Yes, I Love Bloomsburg’

You ask, what do I love about Bloomsburg? I’ve lived in Bloomsburg for 81 years and cannot think of a better place to spend my life. The town itself is very appealing in layout and appearance with probably the neatest Main Street one could ever imagine.

But what I really love is the university that stands at the top of the Main Street. When I was very young, we lived in a dingy apartment above a bar at the corner of Main and Jefferson streets. When I became of school age, I was enrolled at the Ben Franklin Elementary School on the campus at Bloomsburg Normal School. It was a good, healthy walk to school with most of the trip uphill. I went to school there from kindergarten through sixth grade. We later moved to Poplar Street and then the trek was a little more of an effort as I had to climb three blocks of Spruce Street and then, after lunch, head back up the hill. I attribute my good health to these early walks to and from school.

I attended and graduated from Bloomsburg High School participating in football, basketball and baseball. I had no thoughts of my future or what I wanted to do with my life until I was invited out for the football team at BSTC. The Huskies had been undefeated in the ’48 season and had only 19 points scored against them the entire season. I started on the kick-off team the next year. Besides playing football for four years, I played basketball one year and then served as team manager for the next three years. I also was on the sports staff for the Maroon and Gold.

I retired from teaching at Bloomsburg High School in 1986 after 34 years. I am still active with the sports program at BU. I have published the following booklets: The Redman Years, The 1951 Undefeated BSTC Football Season, the 1952-53 Championship Basketball Season and booklets for each of the BU Husky football teams from 2006 through 2011. I am just completing the booklet for the 2012 season. The Danny Hale Years will be my next project.

Yes, I love Bloomsburg.

—Gene Morrison ’53


Form a Community

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


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