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Lock Haven University establishes John F. Curcio Scholarship

PHOTO PROVIDED John Curcio, front row, second from left, with members of his B24 bomber crew just after they returned to England from their mission on Christmas Eve 1944 over the Ardennes — The Battle of the Bulge.

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven University recently announced the establishment of the John F. Curcio Scholarship. The new scholarship will be awarded annually to an LHU student who is ex-military or current military.

The scholarship is named in honor of John F. Curcio, of Renovo. Staff Sergeant Curcio served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He flew 35 combat missions over Europe as a tail gunner in B24 bombers. At age 95, he continues to inspire friends and neighbors with his energy and positive attitude.

The idea for the scholarship began as an informal conversation between some of Curcio’s friends. Jim Russo, of M&R Contracting, led the effort with assistance from retired LHU professors, Lenny Long and Dave Bower; Joby Topper, LHU library director; and former LHU trustee, Thomas “Doc” Sweitzer. All agreed that the scholarship would be a fitting tribute to a man like Curcio, a WW2 veteran of the Greatest Generation.

“Many student-veterans get financial assistance from the G.I. Bill, like I did 30 years ago,” Topper said. “But even with the G.I. Bill, I had to cover some major expenses on my own. The Curcio Scholarship will help fill the gaps and enable these veterans to stay in school.”

Also helping to create the scholarship from LHU, were Jeff Ross, major gift officer and Liza Kopp, assistant director of financial aid.

PHOTO PROVIDED John Curcio is pictured in 1945.

The scholarship recipient will be selected each year by the vice president of enrollment management and student affairs in direct consultation with the John F. Curcio Scholarship Committee. The recipient must be in good academic standing and must demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given to residents of Clinton County.

The John F. Curcio Committee and other friends of Curcio will contribute funds to the scholarship until it reaches a $10,000 endowment, with the goal of increasing this endowment over time. The local Sons of Italy, Carducci Lodge No. 146, recently made a donation to the scholarship.

To make a donation or for questions about the scholarship, contact Topper at 570-484-2465 or email jtopper@lockhaven.edu.

For more information on Lock Haven University, visit www.lockhaven.edu, email admissions@lockhaven.edu, or call 570-484-2011.

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