Pete’s Pride: A Way to Stay Connected to YSU

By Kierston Richardson
Jambar Contributor

Pete’s Pride is a chance for alumni to stay connected to Youngstown State University and give back. It’s an on-campus volunteer organization assisting students in enrollment, career development and community outreach efforts.  

Brittany Defibaugh, alumni engagement coordinator, helps with these efforts. She said Pete’s Pride started in 2014, and anyone who loves YSU is eligible to join.

“It gives our alumni, students and friends an opportunity to give back to the university,” Defibaugh said. 

Jackie LeViseur, director of Alumni and Events, said it’s simple to join Pete’s Pride. 

“You can go online to YSU’s website on the alumni page, and there’s a link that takes you to the Pete’s Pride application or you can call their office,” LeViseur said.

LeViseur said there aren’t any virtual events planned for Pete’s Pride, but there are virtual events through the Alumni and Events office.

“We have an alumni election series where we have different alumni speak every other Thursday on Facebook,” Leviseur said.

Alumna Mary Mathews-Bebech graduated from YSU in 1986. She said students and alumni should join Pete’s Pride. 

“Pete’s Pride is a great opportunity for students to get to know people of all ages and majors. It’s what college is all about,” Mathews-Bebech said. “So, that exposure to other people’s lifestyles, interests and perspectives just helps you stay connected with people as well [as] the university.”  

Pete’s Pride volunteers pose with President Jim Tressel at the “Bloomin’ Arts!” Festival in 2015. // Alumnus Tom Krispinsky and Bobby Marino volunteer at the Covelli Center during the 2019 men’s basketball game against West Virginia State University. Photo courtesy of Pete’s Pride

Alumna Patricia Miller, class of 1976, said Pete’s Pride and YSU are still big parts of her life.

“When I was living at home with my parents, girls didn’t go to college, girls didn’t drive a car,” Miller said. “Girls had two choices — to get married, or if they did go to school, it was to be a teacher. I didn’t have somebody who could pay my way through college. I had no support system whatsoever. YSU accepted me, and then I got a scholarship that paid for the first year.” 

Miller said Pete’s Pride is her way of giving back to YSU. 

“I have a lot of experience that I can give back. It’s so much fun to go back on campus and visit with my peers and see what they’re doing with their life,” Miller said. “We all have the same commonality to make YSU succeed.” 

Miller said Pete’s Pride worked on numerous events in the past, such as Crash Day, freshman orientation, graduation ceremonies and speaker events.