BU to award Steph Pettit honorary doctor of humane letters

BLOOMSBURG—Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will award an honorary doctor of humane letters to Steph Pettit ’89 on Saturday, May 11, at the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony for the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts. The ceremony will be held at Redman Stadium on Bloomsburg University’s upper campus.

Pettit graduated with a degree in mass communications and was a four-year member of the Huskies football team. He was part of the 1985 Huskies football team that won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title and was the first team in school history to win 12 games. After graduation, he was a sales manager for E & J Gallo Winery before taking ownership of Clean Earth Systems, Inc. in 1993. The company began as a small, corrugated box company, and has since grown into a nationwide distributor of hazardous waste containers with 15 warehouses and sales teams in each. Clean Earth Systems' innovations has reinvented hazardous waste storage while maximizing efficiency, through cost-effective, sensible, and environmentally-responsible hazardous material transportation, and disposal.

“Steph Pettit has been a wonderful friend to Bloomsburg University over the years,” said Bashar W. Hanna, President of Bloomsburg University. “Through his generous support, so many of our students have achieved the dream of a college degree. On behalf of our university and our Council of Trustees, it will be my privilege to present this well-deserved honor to Steph Pettit.”

Pettit has given back in many ways to BU. He served on the It’s Personal campaign cabinet as the lead advocate and ambassador supporting all of athletics. Pettit also co-chaired the First & Goal football scholarship campaign as well as establishing the SP-59 annual football scholarship, the Under Armour Football sponsorship, and the Steph Pettit Legacy Scholarship. He also supported athletics with a $1 million contribution for stadium improvements to the former Sports Stadium and additional athletic scholarships. The now Steph Pettit Stadium has hosted four NCAA National Championships since being renamed and serves as the home to Huskies' field hockey, men's and women's soccer and women's lacrosse teams, in addition to local high school teams and university intramural and club teams. In addition, he supported the banner project at Redman Stadium that improved the look of the facility.

But athletics has not been the only beneficiary of Pettit’s generosity. He also supports the Department of Mass Communications with experiential learning opportunities through a production company for current students that produces documentaries and long-form projects.

Pettit will be the 18th person to be recognized with an honorary doctorate. Criteria for honorary degree recipients include having made noteworthy contributions to Bloomsburg University, to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or to society in general, and having demonstrated either meritorious achievement or scholarship in the arts and humanities, science and technology, the social sciences, education, the health profession, commerce, trade or industry.