Giving Back
As A Way
of Life

Board member May Van on the value of contributing time and talent.

May Van’s contributions to West Chester University stretch far and wide.

She’s a longtime member of the WCU Foundation Board of Trustees. Co-founder of the College of Business and Public Management Women in Leadership program. Creator of the Helen Man Memorial Scholarship. She’s also a former commencement speaker, President’s Award recipient, adjunct professor, and more.

For May, giving back is more than a checklist. It’s a natural extension of her passions. “I believe in paying it forward,” May says. “After achieving success in the corporate world thanks to my MBA from WCU, it was time to give back. My primary interests are social justice, education, and the advancement and protection of women and children’s rights. And as a member of the board, I wanted to put my money where my mouth is.”

Working with the Foundation, May is able to fulfill several of her philanthropic goals. For example, she created the Helen Man Memorial Scholarship in memory of her mother. The scholarship supports a female minority student who studies in the College of Business and has demonstrated financial need. In addition to providing monetary support, May meets with recipients at least once per semester to provide personal mentorship.

“We can all have a positive impact on the next generation,” she says. “We may not all have the financial means, but we can provide assistance in other areas — supporting job searches, showing how to manage the work environment, assisting with problem solving, or helping develop the necessary skills to be successful in life.”

In that regard, May believes the Foundation, along with WCU alumni, faculty, staff, and other supporters, could all play a role in supporting the University and its students. She sees a future where everyone actively contributes their skills, experiences, and finances toward helping students succeed. May says that is what motivates her involvement with the Foundation.

“I believe integrity means you believe in something, you put it into action,” May says. “That’s how I approach my philanthropy work.”

May Van M'89

Creator and Donor, Helen Man Memorial Scholarship
Vice President, WCU Foundation Board of Directors

“I believe integrity means you believe in something, you put it into action. That’s how I approach my philanthropy work.”

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