2021 President’s Award Honorees Recognized

In the words of President Christopher Fiorentino, 150Forward Campaign:  The Campaign for West Chester University is not about bricks and mortar – it is about our students, and the resources they need to help them reach their full potential. On Thursday, October 28th, the annual President’s Circle Ceremony brought us together to celebrate a few of those individuals, and a community partner, who are helping make this vision possible. This year’s President’s Award recipients are:

Stephanie and Edward N. Collison, Jr. ’93

As President of Hobbs & Company, Inc. based in Boothwyn, Ed Collison, Jr. ’93 has worked on many large contracts, but he counts the completion of three residence halls on WCU’s campus, and projects in Sykes and Anderson Halls, as his proudest. Hobbs & Company, Inc. has also been essential in the relocation of the campus cell tower in preparation for the Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons; he is a current WCU Foundation Trustee. Stephanie Collison is Principal Product Management Business Analyst on the Customs Development team with Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG), a leading provider of human capital management solutions in the cloud. Ed and Stephanie are past President’s Community Scholarship Gala co-chairs and created the Collison Family Scholarship last year.

Ann and Carl R. Gersbach ’70

For Ann and Carl R. Gersbach ’70, West Chester University is home. The WCU campus is where they first met and is the hometown they returned to after Carl’s seven years as a linebacker in the National Football League. As a Senior Vice President at CBRE, he provides real estate services and consulting to corporations and public sector clients throughout North America. Ann, a talented artist, has served St. Agnes School in West Chester for many years, as it was the school she attended as a young girl. Carl takes pride in giving back and supporting student-athletes through The W. Glenn Killinger Scholarship, the Football Assistance Fund, and the annual QB Classic Golf Tournament; he has served as a WCU Foundation Trustee and as past President of Killinger Foundation.

Barbara J. Lappano ’67, M’73

To say that Barbara J. Lappano ’67, M’73 is held in high esteem at West Chester University is quite an understatement. A physical education major and WCU cheerleader, she cheered for the Golden Rams football team at their first appearance in the Tangerine Bowl. As a member of the faculty from 1970-2004, she taught dance education, technique, and theory courses, coached WCU cheerleading, and also implemented a dance minor for the University in the Theatre Department. In the community, Barbara has choreographed musical theater productions for The Savoy Company, The Montgomery School, The Hill School, and Downingtown Area School District; she teaches ballet, jazz, and musical theater – and consults – through her own business, Dance by Design. In 2007, she established the Barbara J. Lappano Dance Scholarship. A former member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, she received the President’s Medallion for Service in 2019.

Dr. and Mrs. Charles S. Swope Memorial Scholarship Foundation

Since 1960, the Dr. and Mrs. Charles S. Swope Memorial Scholarship Foundation has operated as a private foundation dedicated to supporting high achieving WCU students. Named after Dr. Charles S. Swope, President of West Chester State Teachers College from 1935-1959. In 2021, the funds were gifted to West Chester University to create an endowed scholarship, The Swope Memorial Scholarship. Dr. Swope’s grandchildren – Dr. Dawn Swope Apgar and Charles E. Swope, Jr. (Chuck) have worked tirelessly to carry on the intention and tradition of their family’s foundation. Dawn is Assistant Professor and Director for the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice at Seton Hall University, and Chuck is Broker of Record and Chairman of Swope Lees Commercial Real Estate, LLC in West Chester.

The President’s Circle is comprised of dedicated alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, and community partners who assist in advancing student success through their philanthropic leadership. Bound by their commitment to West Chester University, members drive student success now – and provide a strong foundation for the University’s future.

Visit https://www.wcufoundation.org/presidents-circle/ for more information.


Pictured (L-R): Dr. Susan Fiorentino; President Christopher Fiorentino; Edward N. Collison, Jr. ’93; Stephanie Collison; Barbara J. Lappano ’67, M’73; Dr. Dawn Swope Apgar; Charles Swope, Jr.; Ann Gersbach; and Carl R. Gersbach ’70.

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