For Immediate Release
Date: December 4, 2019
Contact: Tom McGuire, Director of Communications
(photo available of Steph Pettit by request)
Steph Pettit Makes $10 Million Donation to Bloomsburg University
BLOOMSBURG—Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and the Bloomsburg University Foundation proudly announce a $10 million gift from Steph Pettit ’89, with $5 million supporting athletic priorities, specifically scholarships, and a $5 million trust to support future university needs. In recognition of the impact this donation will have, BU will rename and brand the University’s athletic complex, to Bloomsburg University Pettit Athletic Complex.
This latest gift from Pettit will increase scholarship dollars for BU student-athletes, bolstering the recruiting efforts of the Huskies’ coaches.
“My goal is to elevate the athletic program at BU by giving the coaches the resources needed to recruit student-athletes from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and beyond with stronger academic and athletic profiles,” said Pettit. “Competition is fierce in the world of intercollegiate athletics, and our coaches need more scholarship money to compete at the highest levels. I am honored to be able to make this gift and support their efforts to compete for championships at the conference level and be competitive on a national level.”
The gift makes Pettit the largest donor in University history, bringing his total contributions to more than $12.5 million.
“This gift by Steph, who often calls Bloomsburg his home, is truly transformational for Bloomsburg University,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “We talk about the grit and determination shown by our students. This is an attribute Steph has shown from the first time he set foot on campus and continues today. On behalf of our student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff, and alumni, I want to thank Steph for his extraordinary generosity to our University. His gift will impact generations of Huskies.”
“Steph’s passion for BU is unmistakable,” said BU Director of Athletics Michael McFarland. “He is truly an ambassador for all our teams with a desire to see each of them be successful. This gift, we hope, will also inspire others to contribute and help BU become the premier athletic program we all know it can be.”
Pettit, who was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters in the spring of 2019, graduated with a degree in mass communications and was a four-year member of the Huskies football team. He was part of the 1985 squad that was the first team in school history to win 12 games while capturing the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title and reaching the NCAA Division II semi-finals.
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 with sales teams in each. Clean Earth Systems' innovations have reinvented hazardous waste storage while maximizing efficiency, through cost-effective, sensible, and environmentally-responsible hazardous material transportation, and disposal.
Pettit has given back in many ways to BU. He served on the record-setting $62 million It’s Personal campaign cabinet as the lead advocate and ambassador supporting 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 has been selected to host the 2020 NCAA Field Hockey Division II National Championships. Steph Pettit Stadium serves as the home to Huskies' field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and women's lacrosse teams, in addition to hosting local high school teams, BU athletic summer camps, and university intramural and club activities. Pettit also supported the banner project at Redman Stadium that improved the look of the facility.
Pettit also supports his academic department, mass communications, by funding experiential learning opportunities through a production company for current students that features documentary and long-form video projects.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,700 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in five distinct colleges: College of Education, Zeigler College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, and new Honors College.