Former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch with students and EQT representatives

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Spirit of Diversity Dinner

Celebrating Diversity, Recognizing Excellence, Making Connections
EQT and Other Community Partners Support Scholarship Benefit

Charlie Batch knows something about success. A native of nearby Munhall, he excelled as a quarterback at Eastern Michigan University and in 15 seasons in the NFL. In 10 seasons as backup signal-caller for his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, he earned two Super Bowl rings.

Since his retirement in 2012, he's been a community activist, motivational speaker, and founder of the "Best of the Batch" Foundation, which organizes youth programs across the region.

On April 1, 2016, Batch spoke to an audience of more than 300 students, faculty and community leaders at Duquesne's second Spirit of Diversity Dinner. Batch delivered a memorable speech, reminding the audience to "be resilient, be prepared and be a pro." His message to "leave a room with change" resonated not just with the students present but with all the listeners in the crowd.

The annual event is designed to be inspirational, but that's just part of the intent. Outstanding students are recognized, and funds are raised to support scholarships for diverse students.

"This dinner signifies the importance of relationships," explained Jeff Mallory, director of Duquesne's Office of Multicultural Affairs. "We appreciate the ability to serve our students; we love our university and we are also passionate about connecting with the community at large."

Leaders like Batch and an array of corporate sponsors underscore those connections. "We feel it is imperative to share what we do and more importantly, what we are seeking to accomplish for our university and region," Mallory continued. "This Spirit of Diversity Dinner offers us the privilege to join our university staff and students together with our great community partners."

Among those partners is the Multi-Ethnic Employee Resource Group of Pittsburgh-based energy supplier EQT Corporation. Nicole King, EQT staff attorney and corporate secretary, lauded Duquesne's focus on diversity and was impressed by the students receiving awards. "I was struck by the poise and ambition of the scholarship recipients," King said. "These young men and women have grand plans for the future and I cannot wait to see how their futures unfold."

Other corporate and community sponsors of the event included UPMC Health Plan, PNC, Urban Innovation 21, Hefren-Tillotson, Highmark and Dollar Bank. More than $36,000 was raised to provide student scholarships for historically underserved and underrepresented students.

The third annual Spirit of Diversity Dinner will be held April 28, 2017. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Duquesne's Office of Corporate Relations.