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Two IUP alumni donate $2 million to the university's proposed college of osteopathic medicine

IUP receives massive donation, taking everyone by surprise
IUP receives massive donation, taking everyone by surprise 02:35

INDIANA, Pa. (KDKA) - As Indiana University of Pennsylvania continues to make progress on its proposed college of osteopathic medicine, the university recently got a significant donation to help the effort going forward. 

IUP announced that two graduates, Tim and Debra Phillips Cejka have gifted the university $2 million saying they recognize the "good that it will do and the lives it will save." 

The Westmoreland County natives are 1973 graduates of IUP and Tim has received the Distinguished Alumni Award and has also served on IUP's Council of Trustees since 2018. 

"We love IUP and we fully support establishing a college of osteopathic medicine at IUP," Tim Cejka said. "We are very grateful that we are able to support the proposed college of osteopathic medicine, and we hope that this inspires others – IUP graduates, businesses, community members, legislators -- to join us in giving their time and treasures to move this project forward. We hope that our passion for this project will be contagious."'

Back in December 2022, IUP's Council of Trustees endorsed the effort to explore the development of a college of osteopathic medicine and the reasonings were multiple - including a need for rural healthcare as there is currently a ratio of patients to primary care physicians of 1,367 to 1 according to the United Health Foundation. 

"The data is very clear," Cejka said. "There is a medical care desert in Pennsylvania. It's unbelievable that in 2024, there are people out there who simply can't access medical care, and there are expectant mothers driving two to four hours to get care and to give birth. That's the way of our passion for this project – this should not be happening."

"Besides being incredible champions for IUP and for our students, Tim and Deb Cejka are fully committed to doing the right thing at the right time, to supporting projects and initiatives that make the greatest possible positive difference in the lives of others," IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll said. "Their generosity has helped us to meet important student needs, including in our science programs and creating new opportunities in our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts."

Their $2 million donation comes less than six months after Pennsylvania State Senator Joe Pittman announced a $2 million budget designation that will be set aside for the College of Osteopathic Medicine.  

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