Major: Business Administration

Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

Ed Piatkowski ’86 understands the value of a BU degree and how that value changes as time goes by, at least to the student who receives it.

Recently retired after nearly 30 years in GE's medical imaging and healthcare equipment sales division, Ed credits a lot of his success to his BU degree.

In 1982, when Ed enrolled at BU, he was responsible for covering most of his expenses for college.

“The loan I qualified for was $3,600, which covered almost all my tuition and fees for a year,” Ed says.

With two kids of his own who have recently graduated from college, he knows how much that number has increased exponentially across the country, especially at state universities like Bloomsburg.

Admittedly, with life getting busy as it often does, Ed lost touch with BU for a while. With more time since retiring, he’s excited about giving back to BU by lending his expertise and philanthropic support.

“I first came back to volunteer as a participant in the ZIPD conference back in 2011 and again in 2013. It was great then, but it’s been amazing to come back now and see how much it’s grown. This is an immense resource for students,” says Ed. “It shows that Bloomsburg University is growing and delivering on its promise of preparing students for success after graduation, and more alumni need to understand and be proud of that.”

Ed was inspired to reconnect when he received a mailer from the foundation featuring fellow alumni, Eric Pettis ’83 and his story about why he gives back to support students. The story compelled Ed to come back for a tour and rekindled his passion for BU, which led to him making his own gift to establish a scholarship.

“I retired in January 2020 and have been working with my financial advisor following a once-in-a-generation run-up in the investment markets,” Ed says. “It was the ideal time to consider a gift to BU. And it was a win-win because I made a gift of stock that allowed me to avoid some capital gains tax.”

For Ed, it was coming back to campus and seeing how much had changed and how many improvements he noticed that re-ignited a spark for engaging.

“I’m willing to bet there are a lot of alumni like me out there who just haven’t been back for a while,” adds Ed. “My advice to them is just to come on back, and see how much this place has changed. There is so much here we as alumni can do to contribute to the value of education today’s students receive. It made me want to do more to help students who are hungry to succeed because that ultimately adds to the value of a BU degree for all alumni.”