November 10, 2016

$2 Million Gift Establishes Scholarship Fund to Provide Support for Family Members of Air Force Veterans

The Bloomsburg University Foundation recently received a gift to establish the Edwards Scholarship Award, which will benefit students at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a family member who is a current or previous member of the United States Air Force.

The $2 million gift, received from the estate of Charles Picek, was donated to endow the scholarship fund in honor of his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Bloomsburg alumni Katharine Bierman Edwards, Class of 1915, and Lt. Gen. Idwal Edwards, Class of 1914 (pictured at right). 

Edwards was a general and a director of personnel for the Air Force. As a senior personnel officer, with extensive experience in the area of military race relations, he was directed by his commanding officer to develop a plan that eventually led to the end of segregation in the Air Force.

There are currently 437 military students attending BU. “Military students” are defined as current and former military personnel, their spouses and dependents, and participants in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, known as ROTC.

“This scholarship fund is a great opportunity for Bloomsburg University to honor the memory of an alumnus, who provided outstanding service to his country, and his wife,” said Bob Heckrote, academic adviser for military and undeclared students in Bloomsburg University’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs. “It’s also a very important step toward providing us with a way to help support not only student veterans, but also the members of their families who support them during their service.”

According to Heckrote, his office is often approached by retired military servicemen and servicewomen seeking financial assistance for their children who are prospective BU students. “It breaks my heart when I have to tell people in that situation that there is nothing we can do for them,” Heckrote said. “This will help us to provide some type of support for people in those situations.”

Individuals who are interested in attending Bloomsburg University and are eligible to receive the Edwards Scholarship Award may call BU’s admissions office 570-389-4316.

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