Bob Meeker '75, a native of Forty Fort, PA, was introduced to the world of Bloomsburg University at a tender age due to his father, Dr. Robert G. Meeker served as a dedicated professor in the English Department for 30 years, or as long as Bob could recall. Driven by their father's unwavering commitment to education, all three Meeker brothers—Bob, David '74 and John '78 — were inspired to follow in his footsteps and pursue their own Bloomsburg degrees. The Meeker family firmly believes in the transformative power of education and the importance of giving back.

When their father passed away, Bob and his brothers decided to honor his legacy by establishing a scholarship for students in the English department. It was their way of paying tribute to their father's dedication and his impact on countless students over the years. They generously donated funds to the library, recognizing the importance of literacy and knowledge dissemination, especially as Bob himself pursued a career as a university librarian. They also decided to honor their aunt, who worked throughout her life as a nurse. When she passed away, the Meeker brothers decided to allocate a portion of her assets to create a nursing scholarship. They saw it as an opportunity to support students pursuing a career in healthcare and making a difference in the lives of others.

But it all began in 1971. Bob vividly remembered receiving a thin envelope in the mail, similar to the one that contained the college rejection letter he had become all too familiar with. But this time, there was a glimmer of hope. Rather than immediately rejecting his application for admission, Bloomsburg offered him a chance to prove himself during the summer as a probationary student, or "probie." If he performed well, he could return as a full-time student in the spring. The program consisted of a six-week session and a three-week session, with students taking multiple classes.

For both Bob and his brother David, Bloomsburg presented a last chance to prove themselves, and they seized the opportunity with determination and hard work during their "probie" summers of 1970 and 1971. Their brother John escaped the 'probie' program and entered Bloomsburg in the traditional way in 1974.

By the end of the six weeks, Bob had achieved his goal of a "B" average, instilling confidence that he would be returning in the spring. In addition, in the subsequent three-week session, Bob earned a "B" in Economics, guaranteeing his return as a full-time college student in the spring! Throughout his "probie" summer, Bob formed bonds with his fellow students. Many of them shared similar stories of how grateful they were for the opportunity to prove themselves at Bloomsburg and looked forward to becoming full-time first-year college students the following spring.

Bob, after achieving his goal and becoming a full-time student after his probationary summer, graduated from Bloomsburg with a degree in English in 1975, then furthered his education by obtaining a master's degree in English from Lehigh University and, finally, an MLS in Library Science from Syracuse University. From here, it was off to Chicago and the start of a 35-year career as an academic librarian.

Despite the challenges he faced and the uncertainties of his youth, Bob Meeker found his calling in the world of education and literature, thanks in part to the opportunities and support he received from Bloomsburg University. That sentiment and the desire to carry on their father's legacy inspire Bob and his brothers to continue giving back to their alma mater. Through their various scholarships, they aim to create a lasting legacy that will support and inspire future generations of students. They understand that even a modest amount like $1,000 can often make a significant difference in a student's life, opening doors to education and opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach.

As Bob reflects on his journey, he remains grateful to Bloomsburg University for taking a chance on him and providing the platform for his personal and professional growth. His “probie” summer may have been a last chance, but it was also the beginning of a remarkable story of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of education.

Bob invites any fellow alumni, especially fellow "probie" students, who would like to connect with him to send him an email at