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Providing the Key to Success

Larry Sobotka

Larry Sobotka hopes his gift will inspire future generations of teachers.

Larry Sobotka '63 graduated from IUP with a BS in chemistry and moved on to a job with the Baltimore County Schools teaching chemistry and physical science at Parkville High School. There, he also taught adult education and evening high school programs focusing on GED classes and physical science. He continued to teach day and evening school, eventually becoming the principal for the evening program until he retired in 1993.

While teaching, Larry took evening classes at Towson University and earned his M.Ed in 1971.

He spent his summers traveling to Europe and participating in summer in-service workshops in adult education and writing curriculum for the Baltimore County chemistry teachers. After retirement, he took up biking and put more miles on his bike around Maryland than he put on his car. Eventually, he traveled to New Zealand to bike through South Island with friends and biked the Iron Man road on a trip he took to Hawaii.

In 2007, Larry moved to Sarasota Florida where he is now pursuing his interests in landscaping. He spends a lot of time outdoors in his garden and biking the Legacy Trail.

Larry realizes that the financial needs for students today are far greater than they were when he attended IUP. Through his commitment to establish the Larry F. Sobotka Scholarship and the Larry F. Sobotka Science Discovery and Outdoor Learning Center Enhancement Fund, he hopes to help generations of future educators to lead and transform our world.

"IUP gave me what I needed to educate myself and I want to support future teachers and provide them with the means to pursue their educational goals," he says. "Education is the key to success in today's world, and well-trained compassionate teachers are the key to the future for the education of young children."

Larry's wish is for students to discover knowledge that does not come solely from the books they read but also from environmental and hands-on experiences.

To learn more about supporting IUP students with a planned gift, like Larry is, contact Dave Maudie '87 at or 724-357-2243.