Award honoring slain Pittsburgh officer given to IUP grad
A graduating student from Indiana University of Pennsylvania is the first recipient of the Stephen J. Mayhle Memorial Scholarship.
"Being the first person to get this is a great honor," said Patrick Lee, 22, who was presented with the scholarship award at commencement exercises on Saturday. More than 2,250 graduates were eligible to participate in IUP graduation ceremonies.
Stephen J. Mayhle was one of three officers killed in a Stanton Heights shootout with Richard Poplawski in April 2009. Officers Paul J. Sciullo II and Eric Kelly also were shot and killed.
Mayhle grew up in Indiana and was a graduate of IUP.
"This is really important for us. We are excited to award it. It is nice to have something good come out of a tragedy. This is a good way to honor his memory," said Randy Martin, chairman of IUP's criminology department, which has 1,000 students and is the largest single department at any state-owned university.
Mayhle's wife, Shandra, helped select the scholarship's recipient, according to Martin.
The scholarship was set up by the school and Downtown accounting firm KPMG, where employee Julie Duvall, a friend of the Mayhle family, helped create the award.
Lee, who was awarded $450, grew up in Uniontown and plans to work as a police officer in the Pittsburgh area. This summer, he will work as an officer in Bethany Beach, Del.
He was a student at IUP at the time of the Stanton Heights shootout and attended Mayhle's funeral.
"People really took it to heart when he was killed. Lots of the students felt connected because Mayhle was an IUP graduate and grew up in this town," Lee said.