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Gates at the entrance of California University of PennsylvaniaGates at the entrance of California University of Pennsylvania


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Posted on November 30, 2012

To: All students, faculty, staff, alumni and University friends
From: Acting President Geraldine Jones

Yesterday I watched as Cal U students stuffed a Vulcan Flyer bus full of toys for needy children.

Under the leadership of Student Government, our students collected more than $7,000 worth of toys for the annual Stuff-A-Bus toy drive organized by radio station 96.1 KISS-FM to benefit Toys for Tots.

More than two dozen student organizations took part in the collection, including the InterResidence Hall Council, SABUG, Acacia fraternity, Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and the Black Student Union. The Student Association Inc. topped off the pile of toys with a $1,000 donation.

Student Government will continue to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary gifts through Dec. 7 to benefit the Washington County Toys for Tots program.

As the holiday season gets under way, I’m reminded of the many ways our campus community reaches out to help others. Here are just a few more examples:

  • The Elf Bookshelf project is in its 13th year of collecting new and gently used books for children in local hospitals, shelters, elementary schools and daycare centers. Since its inception, more than 10,000 books have been donated.
  • Student Government is preparing for “Bleed Black & Red,” an American Red Cross blood drive on Dec. 5. Cal U and Slippery Rock are competing to see which campus community can attract the most donors. There’s a trophy at stake for the winner, but our students also know that every pint of donated blood has the potential to save lives. 
  • Student Chris Thompson, who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq, has been organizing work details to benefit two fellow students who need assistance in renovating their home. Marines veteran James Kushto was injured while serving in Afghanistan; his wife, Brandy, also has disabilities. They purchased a house in Donora but can’t move in until it’s brought up to code. Thompson has mobilized dozens of students, veterans and reservists to help make the needed repairs.
  • The Center for Civic Engagement, which matches students with service projects throughout the year, will sponsor the annual Day of Service on Feb. 5. As in years past, students can participate in projects that benefit local residents or support community-based organizations.

Yesterday Santa was driving that bus stuffed with toys, but I know that a spirit of giving drives our campus community all year ’round.

As the holidays approach, I hope that each of you finds a way to share in the spirit of giving. Whether you take part in a campus-wide project or simply perform a “random act of kindness,” I know it will lift your heart.

With warmest wishes,

Signature of Acting President Geraldine Jones.

Please note: To help with the Elf Bookshelf project, bring new or gently used books to Ellie Nesser, in the Office of Admissions, by Dec. 3. For information about the “Bleed Black & Red” blood drive, visit and check the homepage News carousel. To learn more about the veterans home repair project, contact Chris Thompson at To reach the Center for Civic Engagement, e-mail or contact director Diane Williams at

Meet Acting President Geraldine M. Jones