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West Chester University's 'INCOMPARABLE' Golden Rams Marching Band Selected to perform in the 2024 Rose Parade®
The West Chester University “INCOMPARABLE” Golden Rams Marching Band will again represent West Chester University and the greater Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) on the international stage when they become the first marching band within the PASSHE system to march in the iconic 135th Rose Parade® presented by Honda on Monday, January 1, 2024. An annual tradition for more than 130 years, the Rose Parade has a television viewership of over 25 million people and a live attendance of about 700,000.
Each year, the Tournament of Roses Association® selects a small number of bands from a large pool of international applicants to perform in the Rose Parade that precedes college football’s Rose Bowl Game® in Pasadena, California. The competitive Rose Parade selection process uses a variety of criteria for invited participants that includes musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value. It is less common for a University band to be selected, save for the two marching bands representing the two Rose Bowl Game football teams.
“As a renowned musical legacy, the INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band continues to be a distinctive element at West Chester University and one that brings a great deal of pride to the entire community,” says West Chester University President Chris Fiorentino. “Hailing from all disciplines and majors, 350 students juggle the academic rigor of the University with a demanding practice schedule. These outstanding students deserve this coveted opportunity, and we are thrilled that they will bring worldwide recognition to West Chester University, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
To fund travel expenses for the band’s 350 members, West Chester University launched the “RamBand Road to the Roses ‘24” initiative, which aims to raise $1 Million. Anchored by a $100,000 matching gift challenge from Dr. James Wells ’54 and Mr. Richard G. Wells ’58, who are both alumni and the namesakes for West Chester’s School of Music, the initiative invites donors to make a gift to be matched by March 10, 2023, which is West Chester University’s Charter Day of Giving. Gifts can be made at www.wcufoundation.org/ramband.
Dean of West Chester University’s Wells School of Music Christopher Hanning adds, “The INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band is the largest ensemble within West Chester University’s Wells School of Music. We kindly request the support of the entire University community, as well as the surrounding community and throughout Pennsylvania, so that the band’s 350-member ensemble can be seen and heard in its full majesty at the 2024 Rose Parade.”
Director of Athletic Bands Adam Gumble says, “Marching in the Rose Parade has been a longtime goal of the INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band. The highly competitive selection process means that only the world’s best marching bands are invited to perform. This recognition from the Tournament of Roses Association is yet another reminder that West Chester University’s marching band is truly INCOMPARABLE. We want to thank our students, alumni, faculty, staff and fans for their unyielding support of our program.”
The West Chester University INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band is a group of 300+ students that proudly represents West Chester University and the greater West Chester community. Comprised of students from more than 60 different majors, the marching band involves students from every segment of the campus population and is the largest student organization on campus. In addition to performing at local and regional parades and exhibitions, the “RamBand” has performed at prestigious events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nashville Christmas Parade, National Football League games, Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade, and Bands of America Regional and Grand National Championships! The West Chester University Golden Rams Marching Band has earned a national reputation as a leader in the marching arts and was named the recipient of the 2019 Sudler Trophy. The Sudler Trophy is presented biannually to a university marching band that demonstrates the highest standards of music performance, precision marching, and innovation in show design and is considered the “Heisman Trophy” for college marching bands. West Chester University is one of only 32 schools in the United States and the first NCAA Division II School to receive the award!
Local Leader Andrew Dinniman Raises $112,000 to Champion Diversity Initiatives
Former State Senator Andrew E. Dinniman has surpassed his goal of $100,000 to create the Dinniman Together Fund: Diversity Inclusion & Equity Endowment at West Chester University (WCU). The focus of the fund is to promote diversity and equity through a renewed emphasis on our common humanity. This announcement coincides with the anniversary of the final public speech of Frederick Douglass, which was held on the campus of West Chester State Normal School on February 1, 1895. More than a century later, the Dinniman Together Fund will continue the conversation by providing resources to support an annual gathering where the research and teaching knowledge of WCU faculty (past and present) may be shared with the greater Chester County community.
In recognition of the towering role that Douglass played as an advocate of social justice, West Chester University has done much to recognize the legacy of Douglass and his message. Dr. C. James Trotman, WCU professor emeritus of English, served as the first director of the Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI) at WCU, established in 1992, and Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste endowed the Frederick Douglass annual lecture series for others to continue to learn of the impact of Douglass.
Last fall, former State Senator Dinniman delivered the third annual Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste Frederick Douglass Institute Lecture entitled “The Life and Legacy and Legacy of Frederick Douglass in the America of 2022.” During his address, he stated, “Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. represent the prophetic tradition in American history, which calls for the nation to live up to its highest aspirations.”
At West Chester University, former State Senator Dinniman received the President’s Medallion for Service in 2015 and was named emeritus director of the Center for International Programs and Educational Development in 2021. During his time there, he taught undergraduate courses including African American History, Racial and Ethnic Understanding, and Global Studies, as well as graduate courses in public policy. He has served as director of both the Ethnic Studies Institute and the Center for International Programs. In October 2022, the West Chester Area Chamber of Commerce presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Chester County History Center will be using former State Senator Dinniman’s lecture as part of its Black History Month programs.
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Every day, donors like you help WCU Foundation make important, lasting impact in students’ lives. Explore our stories to see what we’ve already accomplished together — and how we’ll continue to create ongoing success at WCU.
Boosting the Future of Biomedical Engineering
The pharma leader giving biomed students a boost.
Every Gift Counts
Gifts of $250 or less, from 3,308 donors, helped us hit our goals last year.
Over $4.1 million is scholarship funds was raised in 2020-21.
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Cycle of Success
Alumni and friends gave over $13.8 million in gifts and future commitments last year.
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Last year, $4,095,000 was bestowed to support WCU via planned gifts.
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West Chester University Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works with WCU’s president, vice presidents, and deans to plan and identify the funding to build a better University, today and tomorrow.