Indiana University of Pennsylvania announced today the IUP’s Council of Trustees honored Blane Dessy—a 1973 graduate—and IUP Professor Emerita of English—Rosaly DeMaios Roffman—with the naming of the Dessy-Roffman Myth Collaborative.

The Dessy-Roffman Myth Collaborative is designed to be a dynamic, cross-disciplinary resource for students and faculty that will enhance the on-campus site where the study of myth is nurtured and supported, providing an exchange of ideas among faculty of diverse departments, offering seminars and workshops on myth, and designing co-curricular courses.

In addition to campus collaboration, it is hoped that programming and initiatives will be developed across the State System of Higher Education and throughout western Pennsylvania.

The resolution recognized Dessy’s “transformative” gift of $100,000 to the IUP College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Enhancement Fund, which will be used to establish the Dessy-Roffman Myth Collaborative, and Roffman’s influence on Dessy’s life, which “kindled his passion for literacy and growth.”

Dessy, Executive Director of the Erie County Public Library, has enjoyed a distinguished career in the field of library science, serving as the director of library staff at the United States Department of Justice and as executive director of national enterprises at the Library of Congress.

Roffman, of Pittsburgh, an internationally acclaimed poet and writer, taught literature and creative writing in the English Department from 1967 and 2003 and founded the Myth/Folklore Studies Center. In 2002, Roffman donated more than 170 books to IUP to establish the Rosaly DeMaios Roffman Collection Center for Study of Myth and Folklore.

“The Dessy-Roffman Myth Collaborative adds to the opportunities for students from all majors to practice research, writing and cross-disciplinary initiatives,” IUP Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Timothy Moerland said. “Both Mr. Dessy and Mrs. Roffman are distinguished in their fields, and IUP is very proud to host this Collaborative and to have them be part of the IUP community.”