Reading Scholars celebrate graduation

Alvernia's Reading Collegiate Scholars Program provides educational support and scholarship opportunities to students in the Reading School District.

University earns Strive for College’s “Strive Five” distinction for excellence


Alvernia University earns recognition for providing opportunities and pathways to success for low-income and first-generation college students by being tabbed as a “Strive Five” institution by education nonprofit Strive for College.


“Alvernia University is committed to inclusivity and diversity and aspires to help all students reach their full potential through a truly experiential learning process,” said Alvernia University President John R. Loyack. “We are proud of our association with Strive for College and will continue to maintain a standard of excellence in pursuit of successful outcomes for our students and graduates.”


Alvernia earned distinctive honors in the categories of inclusion, completion and outcomes, which are a set of data-based benchmarks that demonstrate a commitment to students from underrepresented backgrounds and received a customized badge to highlight their dedication to student opportunity and success.


As a distinctively Franciscan institution founded by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters who originally immigrated to central Pennsylvania to educate the children of mine workers, Alvernia University has always been an educational beacon for first-generation students. Their mission continues today through the university’s various initiatives, highlighted by the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program, which provides academic mentoring and scholarships to students in the Reading School District and was established in 2014 to increase high school graduation and college attendance rates in Reading.


“Alvernia’s dedication to the foundational values of inclusivity and diversity represents a strong commitment to the educational aspirations of all our students,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Dr. Glynis Fitzgerald. “We are honored to receive this recognition from Strive for College as it is a reflection of the exceptional achievements of our students from lower incomes and those who are first in their families to pursue a college education. 


Other recent university initiatives in the areas of inclusion include the formation of the Justice, Equity and Inclusion Council, founding membership with the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance, the hiring of dedicated bi-lingual counselors in the Office of Admissions and Student Financial Planning Office and the ongoing upgrade to the university website to be available in various languages including Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic.