BRADFORD, Pa. -- Probably no University of Pittsburgh at Bradford alumnus is better
known within the Pitt-Bradford community than Dr. Larry "Rock 'n' Roll!"
Schardt, known for a trademark shock of 1970s-style white hair and mustache and
energetic cries of "Rock 'n' Roll!" at alumni events, has cemented his place in
Pitt-Bradford lore with the establishment of the Dr. Larry "Rock 'n' Roll!!!"
The "Rock 'n' Roll!!!" Scholarship was one of the last created through a
match from the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Scholarship Challenge.
"I'd like to help young people have the ability to go to school," said
Schardt, who attended Pitt-Bradford from 1972-74, before it was a four-year institution.
"I was blessed to be given a huge break when I went to college."
In fact, he had never even really thought about going to college, until he stumbled
upon the right group of people.
The oldest of eight children, Schardt helped his mom support his family by working as a
paper boy, a stock boy, babysitting, cutting grass, shoveling snow and just about any
other odd job to help keep his family afloat. He gave every penny to his mother to help
with his younger siblings.
When his mom went to work on Sunday evenings, Schardt would leave the house and head to
Mount Lebanon Park, where he found a church group that met in the park for potluck
dinners. The church, called the No Church Church, didn't own a building. Its members
believed in using their money to help people and the community instead of spending the
money on a building.
"They kind of adopted me," Schardt said. "I was a really wayward kid. I
was always into the whole hippy thing of love and peace and especially kindness."
When it came time for Schardt to think about graduation, members of the No Church
Church encouraged him to go to college and even sat with him as he filled out the
application to Pitt-Bradford. Then they helped significantly with Schardt's tuition, room
and board. He left Pitt-Bradford in 1974 and worked on a garbage truck for a couple of
years in order to help his mother before heading to Penn State to finish his bachelor's
degree in forestry.
Eventually, he earned a master's degree and doctorate in education. He recently retired
from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a central Pennsylvania organization
dedicated to helping communities through creative partnerships in arts, culture and
Now he's trying to give back in a number of ways, including his new scholarship.
Schardt will also be sharing his expertise this fall with students at Pitt-Bradford, where
he'll be teaching a class about community and conservation.
"Pitt-Bradford occupies a huge part of my heart and soul," he said. "I
was not an angel when I was in school there. I got in a little bit of trouble. I want to
give back to the university because the people there believed in me and gave me confidence
when I didn't have confidence in myself."
For more information on establishing a scholarship at Pitt-Bradford, contact Jill
Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement at