President’s Circle Honorees Inspire Others Through Their Philanthropy and Volunteerism

West Chester University recently recognized members of the President’s Circle, which is comprised of those who are committed to advancing student success at WCU through their philanthropy and volunteerism.

President’s Circle members include dedicated alumni, parents and family members, friends, faculty, staff, and community partners who are bound by their commitment to West Chester University, driving student success now and providing a strong foundation for the University’s future. President’s Circle members belong to three unique philanthropic societies: the Carillon Society, the Heritage Society, and Community Partners.

“Our focus is always on our students and how we can best help them reach their goals – and it’s the people in this room whose generosity makes a direct and significant difference in their lives,” said WCU President Christopher Fiorentino. “Those who donate annually as members of our Carillon Society, have achieved lifetime giving milestones as members of our Heritage Society, or are recognized as President’s Award Honorees.”

Recipients of the 2023 President’s Award are Kathleen Hassinger ’80, M’86 and Edward J. Boyer ’78 (1956-2020); Anita Foeman, PhD; Dianne and Michael Peich; and GFWC The New Century Club of West Chester.

Executive Director of the WCU Foundation Deb Cornelius ’91 added, “It’s important that we gather to recognize and celebrate their contributions. They are champions of West Chester and are truly invested in the success of our Golden Rams.”

Senior Claire Zito, who transferred to West Chester as a second-year student and received scholarship assistance to study abroad in Singapore last summer, shared insight into the student experience these donors help make possible. “The people and programs here at West Chester were the catalyst to shaping who I am,” shared Zito. “After my first few classes, I gained a genuine love for academics that I hadn’t felt before. My West Chester story is custom-made to me as it is for each student to study here, because our faculty and staff are personally invested in our success.”

Zito will graduate in the spring with a degree in interdisciplinary studies and minors in international business, sustainability and resilience, digital marketing, and Japanese language.

About the 2023 President’s Award Honorees

Kathleen Hassinger Boyer graduated from WCU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in music education and in 1986 with her master’s degree in instrumental performance. She has a dedicated and successful career in music education through her day-to-day work at E.T. Richardson Middle School and as music curriculum coordinator for Springfield School District and through her many volunteer organizations in the community. Kathleen and her late husband, Ed, met at West Chester. Ed was a fellow music alumnus who earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from WCU in 1978.

Dr. Anita Foeman, professor emerita in the Department of Communication and Media at West Chester University, is a scholar of intercultural and organizational communication and served the University in teaching and research for four decades (1982 – 2022). Dr. Foeman is the founder and primary investigator of the DNA Discussion Project at WCU, which encourages the WCU community to talk about diversity in a positive and engaging way.

Michael Peich, emeritus professor of English at WCU, retired in 2010 after 42 years of service. He cofounded the WCU Poetry Conference, created the WCU Poetry Center, and founded Aralia Press. A former trustee of the WCU Foundation trustee, he serves as a mentor for the men’s basketball team. Dianne Peich is emeritus professor of English at Delaware Community College, where she taught for 31 years; she is currently a critter-maker extraordinaire at the Brandywine River Museum. Michael and Dianne recently established the Michael and Dianne Peich Men’s Basketball Endowment.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Pennsylvania is part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), which is one of the world’s largest and oldest women’s volunteer service organizations. GFWC The New Century Club of West Chester has supported WCU for the last 12 years through their scholarship that supports five non-traditional female students, one from each College.

Pictured with President Chris Fiorentino (center left) and Sue Fiorentino (center right) are those who were honored with this year’s President’s Award (L-R): Kathleen Hassinger Boyer ’80, M’86; Dianne and Michael Peich; Anita Foeman, PhD; Kathleen Lackey-Painter, president, GFWC The New Century Club of West Chester; and Marilyn Light, board member and chair of the Education Committee, GFWC The New Century Club of West Chester.

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