Steven P. Messner, Ph.D. '68/'70 MA is a longtime educator whose appreciation for BU inspired him to give back. As a key contributor to his class's 50th reunion, Steve chose to reach out to many of his classmates and rekindle his Husky spirit. At the reunion, he shared these words about the importance of philanthropy in his life: "I realized early on in my career that I had been exposed to leadership skill sets while a student at Bloomsburg that were valuable to me throughout my lifetime. I thought that it was only right that I would give back to Bloomsburg University so that others would be assured of having the financial means to benefit from those same opportunities that were once afforded to me."

Steve has been a loyal donor to BU students for many years. Prior to establishing his scholarship, Steve made an annual gift to the Delta Pi/Sigma Pi alumni scholarship every year since 2009. This past January, in addition to his regular annual gift, Steve created a scholarship by making a gift through a required minimum distribution from his IRA after coming back to BU for his 50th class reunion.

Steve is a longtime Husky, and a heart for education runs in his family. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1968 and then went on to receive his MA in 1970. Not only that, but Steve's father, Leon Messner, also graduated from Bloomsburg. In 1949, Leon graduated under the GI Bill with a business education degree. Both Leon and Steve's mother, Betty, worked in education for many years.

Deciding to give back to Bloomsburg was an easy decision for Steve after his class's 50th reunion. Thinking back to his time at Bloomsburg, Steve recalled that "the faculty and administrative staff were more like a family than representatives of an institution." While being a student at BU, Steve was part of the Men's Residents' Association which taught him many transferrable skills he continued to use throughout his career. Steve also took a trip to Europe sponsored by Dr. Hans Karl Gunther while at Bloomsburg. He recalls the incredible opportunity he had to see and explore other cultures. As Dr. Gunther gave to Steve, he had chosen to give back to BU students.

Steve was inspired to create his scholarship thanks to the reminder of what a Bloomsburg education can do for a student: "At this Fiftieth Class Reunion, we were celebrating past experiences as well as future opportunities that our connections with Bloomsburg might make possible. I realized that I wanted to give back to Bloomsburg immediately because I felt people like Nori Lewis, who works at the BU Foundation, helped our class appreciate just how much we had gained from our Bloomsburg experience. I thought that one more person might have an opportunity to learn and grow from their Bloomsburg experiences if I stepped up right away to help them with that little bit of financial assistance that would make it possible for them to attend Bloomsburg."

Steve's friend and former BU roommate, Lynn Nester, passed away not long after the reunion. It was then that Steve knew he needed to step up and make the decision to give back to Bloomsburg: "I decided at that time that I needed to express my appreciation to the Bloomsburg community for the many opportunities that I had over the years while I was still able to do it. I realized that it was time to give back immediately and help others realize that their dreams could become a reality with a little financial help."

Philanthropy has always been at the heart of Steve's work. Over the years, he has held many leadership and service positions, such as being the President and CEO of the Tri-County Alliance for Youth of America's Promise, the President and CEO of the Harrisburg Mayor's Literacy Council, the Bicentennial Rotary Governor for the Greater Harrisburg Region, and a member of the Pennsylvania Health Advisory Board. Due to his commitment to these and other organizations, Steve has received many honors: General Colin Powell's recognition for Steve's work with America's Promise, a Distinguished Public Service Recognition from Mayor Reed, and the International Service Above Self Award from the International Trustees for Rotary.

Throughout his career in education, Steve dedicated himself to the students he served. He began his career as a teacher and eventual assistant principal at the Lower Dauphin High School, later becoming principal at Shikellamy High School, and finally, becoming the superintendent of schools at Shamokin after earning his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Later on, Steve would also be offered a superintendent's position at Newport Schools.

Steve had a notable amount of accomplishments throughout his career, including but not limited to overseeing the building of a middle school, speaking at two national superintendent's conventions for his work in open forum models, and representing Pennsylvania as a delegate to one of those national conventions.

Steve was later asked to become a trustee for the Carson Long Military Academy. During his one-year stead as interim president there, Steve worked on raising funds for the school, improving the weight room, and advancing the fitness program. In response to Steve's contributions to the academy, the board of trustees decided to name the upgraded fitness center in his honor: The Dr. Steven P. Messner Carson Long Fitness Center. Steve was then recognized in BU's Alumni Magazine in the Fall of 2014 for his work at the Academy.

When he retired, Steve continued to work with the literacy program and America's Promise by delivering more than 400,000 books to youth in the greater Harrisburg region. He continued to do this for over twenty years.

Steve has also acted as a Session member and trustee at the Pine Street Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg for the past twelve years. Trained by Leadership Harrisburg Area, he has been active in helping others achieve their goals as servant leaders. Leadership Harrisburg Area would later recognize his efforts with their Profiled Leader of the Year Award. Steve still continues to work with groups in need in the Harrisburg region today.