Individual donors and partner organizations are propelling WCU students to greater success. Discover the latest happenings from across our Foundation’s initiatives.
$120,000 Check Will Help WCU Students with Small Semester Balances Cross the Finish Line & Graduate
Thanks to a generous gift of $120,000 from Student Services, Incorporated (SSI) and PSECU, West Chester University students who carry a small semester balance that prevents them from scheduling classes for the next semester will be awarded monetary micro awards to help them move closer toward degree completion. Bernie Carrozza, chair of the Board of Directors of SSI, and Amanda Altice, community manager at the PSECU Financial Education Center – West Chester, were among those presenting a $120,000 check to West Chester University President Christopher Fiorentino on campus on Tuesday, October 26, in the WCU Campus Store.
SSI and PSECU have been helping West Chester University students with unmet financial need since 2018. In previous years, the gift has also helped students with necessities such as meals and books. Coming together to offer the largest Micro Awards in the University’s history, SSI and PSECU seek to make a significant impact on the unmet need of West Chester University students. Micro Awards are managed by the University’s Office of Financial Aid.
“SSI stands ready to ensure that West Chester University students have what they need to cross the finish line and to achieve their academic goals,” said SSI Chair of the Board of Directors Bernie Carrozza. “We admire these students for their perseverance and determination, and we are deeply honored to be able to support their commitment to academic excellence.”
Donna Snyder, executive director of SSI, agreed and provided additional details about the gift. “At President Fiorentino’s request, the PSECU/SSI gift of $120,000 will be utilized to assist WCU students with the greatest need,” she said. “The pandemic has stretched resources and WCU has a growing population of students who are financially challenged. These students include unaccompanied homeless youth and many other students with unmet financial needs. The Financial Aid Office will manage these funds, coordinating with other funding sources to maximize meeting the needs of as many students as possible. Student Services, Inc. is proud to support the effort to position every student for success.”
PSECU is equally supportive. “PSECU has a long history of being a dedicated member of the communities we serve,” said PSECU Senior Director of Membership Development Dave Dentler. “We are continually looking for ways to help promising students earn their college degrees. We hope this will inspire others to do the same.”
Upon receiving the check, West Chester University President Chris Fiorentino said to those in attendance, “West Chester University is intentional in its efforts to do whatever it can to remove barriers that may impede a student’s ability to be successful. We are grateful to be able to align with partners who feel the same. SSI and PSECU meet the needs of our students in very real ways and we continue to be truly grateful for their generosity of resources.”
Pictured (L to R) attending the $12,000 check presentation from Student Services, Incorporated and PSECU are Deputy Director of Financial Aid Tori Nuccio; Vice President for Student Affairs Zebulun Davenport; Executive Director of Student Services, Incorporated Donna Snyder; West Chester University President Chris Fiorentino; Student Services, Incorporated Chair of the Board of Directors Bernie Carrozza; Community Manager at the PSECU Financial Education Center – West Chester Amanda Altice; and West Chester University Foundation Chief Executive Officer Chris Mominey.
About Student Services, Incorporated
Student Services, Incorporated (SSI) is a not-for-profit organization designed to serve the students of West Chester University. The objective of the corporation is to initiate, regulate, and operate the financial matters of the University’s co-curricular student activities.
Opened in 1934, PSECU was founded by 22 ordinary people who pooled $90 and made an extraordinary commitment to each other: To create a financial institution where collective resources benefit all members. Today, PSECU continues that legacy as a leading full-service credit union managing more than $5.5 billion in assets and offering its over 450,000 members convenient anytime, anywhere digital banking options. For more information about PSECU, visit psecu.com.
ALPA Presents $50,000 Check for Michael Horrocks Football Scholarship Endowment Fund
The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) presented a $50,000 gift to West Chester University (WCU) for the Michael Horrocks Football Scholarship Endowment Fund. Vice President of Finance-Treasurer of ALPA Joseph Genovese presented the check to West Chester University President Christopher Fiorentino on Saturday, October 16, during halftime of the noon WCU vs. East Stroudsburg University football game.
On September 11, 2001, Michael Horrocks ’85, a former WCU football quarterback, was the copilot of the United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. The Michael Horrocks Football Scholarship was established in 2012 in Horrocks’s memory and a bronze statue of him stands in WCU’s Farrell Stadium. The scholarship is awarded annually to a standout West Chester University Golden Rams football player by Head Coach Bill Zwaan and WCU Director of Athletics Terence Beattie. Since its inception, the renewable scholarship has awarded $21,225 to four student-athletes. This year’s scholarship recipient is Gabrial A. Schappell, a senior wide receiver from Reading, PA.
Joseph Genovese says, “The Air Line Pilots Association, International is proud to provide this support to the Michael Horrocks Football Scholarship Endowment Fund. As we commemorate 20 years since 9/11, it is important that we continue to honor our fallen heroes, who were also our beloved colleagues and friends, by ensuring that their contributions to our profession are never forgotten.”
Horrocks was a quarterback for the WCU’s Golden Rams football team from 1981 to 1984. After graduation, he served as an officer in the U.S. Marines as a pilot and later as a flight instructor. After retiring from the military, Horrocks became a pilot for United Airlines. Attendees for the check presentation on October 16 included Dr. Christopher Fiorentino, President of West Chester University; Joseph Genovese, VP Finance-Treasurer, ALPA; Christopher Mominey, WCU Foundation CEO; Terence Beattie, WCU Director of Athletics; Miriam Horrocks-Isenberg ’87; Paul Isenberg ’87; and other members of the Horrocks Family.
Those wishing to contribute to the Michael Horrocks Football Scholarship Endowment Fund can visit https://go.wcufoundation.org/donate with fund name Michael Horrocks Scholarship Endowment or fund number 4500-861.
The Air Line Pilots Association, International promotes and champions all aspects of aviation safety throughout all segments of the aviation community. Since 1931, their commitment to safety and the advancement of the profession has made them the guardians and defender of rights and privileges of the professional pilots who are members of the Association.
Aramark Presents $162,000 Check to WCU to Help Swipe-Out Student Hunger
West Chester University (WCU) students experiencing food insecurities, including those who are student-athletes, will benefit greatly from a generous gift of $162,000 from Aramark that was presented formally to WCU President Chris Fiorentino on Wednesday, September 22, under the iconic arches of Philips Memorial Building, 700 South High Street, West Chester. In addition to its $112,000 philanthropic support of WCU students, Aramark, which is currently the Presenting Sponsor of the University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, presented the check to also support five WCU 14 meal-per-week plans ($14,000), food donations for Sports Nutrition Fueling Stations ($16,000), and funding to support a graduate assistant position to manage Sports Nutrition Fueling Stations ($20,000). The presentation of the $162,000 check was the largest single gift made to WCU by Aramark, a leader in the customer service business across food, facilities and uniforms.
Those participating in Wednesday’s check presentation included:
- Dr. Christopher Fiorentino, President of West Chester University
- James Hess, Resident District Manager, Higher Education, Aramark
- Alicia Kent, Regional Vice President, Aramark
- Christopher Mominey, WCU Foundation CEO
- Dr. Zebulun R. Davenport, Vice President for Student Affairs
- Dr. Scott Heinerichs, Dean, College of Health Sciences
- Terence Beattie, Director of Athletics
- Dr. Christine Karpinski, Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition
- Helen Hammerschmidt, Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations
- Matthew Dade ’23, WCU Student Athlete, Men’s Basketball
- Olivia Rudjord, Graduate Student & Student-Athlete, Women’s Volleyball
- Sarah Holweg ’22, WCU Student-Athlete, Women’s Basketball
- Kyle McGee ’23, WCU Student-Athlete, Men’s Basketball
The much-needed gift comes at a critical time in WCU students’ lives. In survey data collected last year, approximately 40% of WCU students reported experiencing some type of basic needs insecurity, including not having enough food to eat.
“For more than 30 years, Aramark has partnered with WCU to provide nutritional and educational opportunities for Golden Rams,” said WCU President Chris Fiorentino. “On the occasion of West Chester University’s 150th Anniversary, our students are able to benefit from the continued generosity of a company that recognizes the dangers of food insecurity and the importance of access to healthy food choices. As a Presenting Sponsor of the University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, Aramark’s assistance provides the priceless essentials that our students need to nourish their minds while fueling their lives. We are deeply grateful to this important partner.”
West Chester University is committed to student success at every level of the college experience, including athletics. For student-athletes, nutrition is one of the key components for achieving optimal health and athletic performance. The Sports Nutrition Education and Fueling Program helps more than 100 student-athletes each semester. Under the supervision of Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition Christine Karpinski, an exercise physiologist and registered dietician, a combination of undergraduate students, graduate students, and dietetic interns provide nutrition education to student-athletes, including one-on-one consultations, individualized meal plans, team talks, and Q&A sessions; they also conduct research in these areas.
Fueling stations are key components of the program. While nutrition education helps guide student-athletes to make healthier food choices, healthy snacks at practice and “Go Bags” for away games or for athletes running from practice to class, provide nutrition at key points throughout the day. A typical fueling station may include fruit, vegetables, trail mix, granola bars, whole-grain snack chips, pretzels, popcorn, cheese sticks, yogurt, and chocolate milk. It would cost approximately $75,000 to provide a centralized fueling station to all WCU athletes who are in-season.
“Aramark is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of WCU’s Sesquicentennial Celebration,” said James Hess, Resident District Manager, Higher Education, Aramark. “Through this sponsorship and our philanthropic support of the University and Student Affairs, we are able to create opportunities for students and the local community. As we foster accessibility to food and build community relationships, we look forward to a bright future.”
Sponsors of West Chester University’s 150th Anniversary
Celebrations throughout West Chester University’s 150th Anniversary year are made possible by the generosity of community partners. Presenting Sponsor: Aramark. Platinum Sponsors: Student Services, Inc. and West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Diamond Sponsors: Essential Utilities and WCU Alumni Association. Gold Sponsor: BB&T (Now Truist). Bronze Sponsors: IMS Technology Services and Meridian Bank. Purple Sponsors: Barnaby’s West Chester; Clark Associates, Inc.; First Bank; MacElree Harvey; Northwestern Mutual; PSECU; Radius Systems; SEI Investments Company; TD Bank; Univest Financial; and Visual Sound.
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world with food, facilities, and uniform services. Because our culture is rooted in service, our employees strive to do great things for each other, our partners, our communities, and our planet. Aramark has been named to DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list, the Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
WCU Dedicates The Roger and Agnes Ware Plaza
The metamorphosis was five years in the making and began with an epiphany that Roger Ware had on what he called a rainy and sleepless night in Georgia. “When I awoke the next morning, I informed my wife, Agnes, about my idea for a fountain project for the University,” shared Ware with more than 75 students, faculty, staff, family, and friends who gathered at the new Plaza. “Her response was, ‘If that is what you want, make it happen.’ Today is the day that I have literally been dreaming about.”
Ware said that he discussed his brainchild with President Fiorentino and the two made plans to include the new entrance in the University’s landscape improvement plans.
“We also discussed that studies show that when prospective students visit a campus for the first time, they usually know within the first ten minutes if that campus feels like home,” said Ware. “Agnes and I hope that this Plaza and fountain is enjoyed by students, faculty, and staff for years to come. We wanted a space to be the first spot a new prospective student would see when visiting, a place to take family photos, graduation pictures, a place to relax, and enjoy this beautiful campus and city.”
As the University celebrates its 150th Anniversary, The Roger and Agnes Ware Plaza is the icing on the birthday cake. “Thanks to Roger and Agnes, this incredible new gateway welcomes the arrival of all to campus and to the borough of West Chester,” said Fiorentino in his remarks. “We at this University are grateful for your generous support throughout the years, and for conceptualizing this magnificent space and being its visionary. As West Chester University celebrates its sesquicentennial, this Plaza truly reflects our new beginning.”
Also acknowledged during the ceremony for their work on the project were the University’s Vice President of Finance and Administration Todd E. Murphy, Associate Vice President for Facilities Gary Bixby, and members of the Department of Facilities Management.
Following a formal countdown led by Fiorentino and the audience, the fountain was formally turned on and cars passing by acknowledged the towering spurts of water by tooting their horns.
The fountain, which will be operational for the public’s enjoyment except when winds are too high or temperatures fall below 40 degrees F, is composed of two large concentric spray rings, 22’ (ring 1) and 15’ (ring 2) in diameter with arching multi-stream jets. Four vertical multi-stream jets are fed from a smaller ring (ring 3) at the center of the feature with underwater light fixtures inboard of the two spray rings and at the central vertical jets. Each ring has 20 jets (40 ring jets and 4 central jets, total). All jets are installed flush with the pavement. There are four central jets, or column jets, arrayed at 90° on a diameter of 16” at the center of the fountain. These jets are also mounted flush with the plaza.
Roger Ware, Jr. graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1982. Roger has served as president and chief executive officer of Jencap Insurance Services Inc. (formerly Genesee General) since 1998.
WCU Foundation Closes Fiscal Year with $13.8 Million in Gifts & Future Commitments
While the nature of COVID-19 has changed the tools our students need to reach their goals, it has not changed their passion to become WCU graduates – and so, even through a pandemic, student success remains at the heart of our philanthropic mission.
Through the generosity of alumni, University friends and family, and community partners, the West Chester University Foundation secured almost $14 million in outright and future commitments in the 2020-21 fiscal year (July 1 – June 30th), with $7.5 million in outright gifts.
How did we accomplish this?
Our donors. This past year, donors continued their commitment to students through investing in scholarships and technology, as well as creating opportunities for every student who calls West Chester University home. Our donors funded hundreds of scholarships, awards, fellowships, and programs that support academic and co-curricular activities.
Leadership gifts continue to support the development of The Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons, a 175,000 square-foot facility that will serve as a dedicated learning environment for the next generation of engineers, nurses, nutritionists, physicists, public health professionals, and scientists.
As we prepare to welcome students back to campus in the fall and make plans to celebrate the University’s 150th anniversary, we reflect on the inspirational and unwavering support of the benefactors of West Chester University; of their gifts, big and small; and of the bright future ahead.
CASE Announces 2021 Circle of Excellence Awards Winners
On June 9, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education announced its 2021 Circle of Excellence Awards winners. West Chester University Foundation is the proud recipient of a Silver Award in the Special Events | Online (Fundraising) Category.
Seeking a silver lining in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Chester University Foundation developed a strategy to transform the annual President’s Circle Dinner into a unique event that would recreate moments of in-person camaraderie, networking, and recognition for loyal and annual donors in a virtual world.
A series of three virtual engagement opportunities, coined President’s Circle Socials, culminated in a President’s Circle Celebration and allowed donors from across the country to attend all events, or just one. The Socials featured a video message from the University President; two “mingle” rooms; a Foundation update; and a featured University speaker – there were even surprise visits from Rammy, the University’s mascot.
The President’s Circle Celebration featured student musicians, a Presidential State-of-the-University, a preview of the upcoming sesquicentennial anniversary celebration, recognition of new donor society members, and impact videos. The Celebration capitalized on the opportunity to reinforce the impact of our President’s Circle donor societies, while also continuing to celebrate and welcome new donors.
These peer-selected and adjudicated awards honor institutions worldwide whose talented staff have advanced their organizations through their resourcefulness and ingenuity.
Winners are selected based on several factors, including overall quality, innovation, use of resources and the impact on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, students, and faculty and staff.
“This year’s CASE Circle of Excellence Awards highlight the creative, nimble, and innovative approaches our members bring to championing the success of their institutions,” says CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham.
“Advancing education has never been more important, and the Circle of Excellence Awards celebrate the innovative work that has contributed to that vital societal outcome. This year, CASE member schools, colleges, and universities across the CASE global membership were faced with challenges that have never been seen before, and advancement professionals demonstrated their skills and sensitivity as they created inspiring and important work to engage their communities in entirely new ways.”
In 2021, CASE received almost 3,000 entries from 27 countries. Those entries came from 530 institutions for consideration across 100 categories.
CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global non-profit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, advancement services, communications, fundraising, government relations, marketing, and student recruitment. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.
CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and non-profit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves more than 90,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit https://www.case.org/.
With our Presidential Scholarship Community Gala – the 2021: G.A.L.A. – mission accomplished, we’d like to share the outcome of this innovative nine-week spring fundraising program. More than 400 alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff, and community members participated in one or more of the six virtual event offerings, securing $162,500 in sponsorships, ticket sales, and donations. The inaugural Charter Day of Giving accounted for more than $42,000 – on that day, donors supported 32 funds, including college Excellence Funds, the Dowdy Multicultural Center, and Golden Ram Athletics.
We also thank our 2021: G.A.L.A. Steering Committee for their guidance, and especially our co-chairs, James P. Shinehouse ’80 and Patricia Shinehouse.
Your loyalty, generosity, and participation allow us to Give, Advance, Lead, and Achieve in support of student success at West Chester University. Take a look at this year’s virtual program booklet here, and be sure to save the date of Saturday, April 2, 2022 for next year’s 39th Annual Presidential Scholarship Community Gala at Longwood Gardens.
Room, Board & Expenses Waived for Five WCU Students
The Brook J. Lenfest Foundation and Philadelphia Foundation are launching the Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program for youth in foster care and aging out of foster care, an innovative large-scale initiative designed to increase college graduation among up to 100 Philadelphians annually. Immensitas (pronounced immense-it-tas) is Latin for “boundless” and signifies the unlimited potential of every youth, as well as the life opportunities available to those with a college degree.
Under Pennsylvania’s Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program, tuition and fees for undergraduate degrees at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania are waived for youth in foster care to reduce financial barriers.
The $1.8 million Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program will cover room, board and expenses such as books, computers, essentials for dorm living, while simultaneously leveraging an extensive support system for participants. Supports will include academic advising, a summer bridge program, housing and meals during school breaks, financial and money management guidance and a designated liaison at each school.
“I believe that education can make all men and women equal regardless of what neighborhood they are from or what their economic start in life was like,” said Brook Lenfest. “Through education, anyone can broaden their horizons and enrich their outlook on life and pursue any career path that exists. Through that freedom, they can find fulfillment, economic security and, ultimately, a happy life.”
“Unfortunately, access to educational opportunity is not equal across all neighborhoods and households. These scholarships are a small way to try and even the scales of opportunity,” he added.
“I know the recipients will make themselves proud and in turn, make me proud by achieving at a high level and I hope their example will encourage others to join this effort with their support.”
Approximately 250 Philadelphia youth annually age out of foster care beginning at age 18. It is estimated that only 3% of former foster youth who enroll in college will graduate.
“Philadelphia Foundation believes in the critical role of education in shaping and preparing future leaders,” said Pedro Ramos, President and CEO of Philadelphia Foundation. “As long-time funders of both educational opportunities and vulnerable populations, we are proud to partner with the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation on this important initiative and look forward to bringing it to scale.”
The largest component of the Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program is a two-year pathway to an associate degree at Harcum College for 80 students annually through a partnership with I-Lead’s ACE (Achieve College Education) program. Under the Harcum/I-Lead partnership, two community-based locations will provide services to support participants in completing their degrees. Delta Community Supports, Inc. in Glenside is the first of two locations. The second site is being developed with Project Home.
Twenty scholars will also be funded, annually, at three additional colleges:
- Five scholars at Penn State University’s main campus
- Five scholars at West Chester University
- Ten scholars at Penn College of Technology, which offers associate degrees.
To be eligible for the Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program, the applicant must have been served by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services at any time since age 16, earned a high school degree or GED and must qualify under the Chafee federal grant program for foster care participants.
Contact the designated representatives listed below to learn more about how to apply.
West Chester University
Deputy Director of Financial Aid
About the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation
The Brook J. Lenfest Foundation is a charitable foundation established by Brook J. Lenfest in 2000, whose trustees include Brook, his wife Anna and his mother Marguerite. It is dedicated to making people aware of positive life choices and providing support and opportunities for those motivated to pursue them. Its grants focus mainly on education, job training and mentoring programs.
Philadelphia Foundation provides administrative and management support services for the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation. It receives grant applications and distributes grants approved by the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation Board of Directors.
About Philadelphia Foundation
Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more visit www.philafound.org.