Cal U. names dorm after Greene Co. philanthropists

October 14, 2013
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Courtesy of California University of Pennsylvania
Ivan H. and Adelaide Ivill Guesman get their first look at a photo and plaque hanging inside the newly named Guesman Hall at California University of Pennsylvania.
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Photo courtesy of California University of Pennsylvania
Brendan Demmy, president of Student Association Inc., shakes hands with Ivan Guesman as Adelaide Guesman, center, looks on. Standing behind Ivan Guesman is family friend Shirley Anderson. The former Residence Hall C at California University of Pennsylvania was renamed Monday as Ivan C. and Adelaide Ivill Guesman Hall in recognition of the couple’s adherence to the university’s core values and their generosity over the years.

CALIFORNIA – One of the newer residence halls at California University of Pennsylvania was named Monday to honor a Greene County couple known for their generosity.

The dormitory known since it opened as Residence Hall C was renamed the Ivan H. and Adelaide Ivill Guesman Hall to honor the former educators from Jefferson who also funded a guest room at Cal U.’s Kara Alumni House, the university announced.

“Ivan and Adelaide Guesman truly embody our university’s core values of integrity, civility and responsibility,” said interim Cal U. President Geraldine M. Jones.

“I am proud to have our university associated with this remarkable couple, and I am pleased to know that their names will become a permanent part of our campus landscape.”

Ivan Guesman, 96, is a 1941 graduate of Cal U., where he joined the faculty in 1968 after having worked as an administrator in West Greene School District. He began his 38 1/2-year career in education working in a one-room schoolhouse in Homeville.

His wife of 70 years was a schoolteacher for 35 years in Jefferson-Morgan School District, where she taught English, home economics and physical education. Adelaide Guesman, 97, graduated from Cal U. in 1938.

The Guesmans have established scholarships to benefit Cal U. students. They also contributed to the construction of a prayer chapel at Waynesburg University and to Hewitt Presbyterian Church in Rices Landing, where they were married in 1943.

The 95,000-square-foot residence hall opened in 2004, when Cal U. began replacing all of its aging dormitories. It’s designed to house 270 students in suites.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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