Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Thanks to the generous donation of nearly $1 million from the retired English Professor Ammon G. Kershner and his wife Loretta; the fundraising campaign for the renovation of the former Swope Hall has now met their goal.The former Swope Hall will be renovated in the next few years to become a Student Services Center. West Chester University will be naming the new Student Services Centers on the buildings ground floor the Ammon G. and Loretta Kershner Student Center in honor of their large donation to the West Chester University.

In recognition of their generosity, President Madeleine Wing Adler expressed gratitude for the general bequest made.

“It is remarkable that someone who served WCU with such distinction would make this additional commitment to the University’s future success,” Adler said. “The legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Kershner will live on in the thousands of students who benefited from his teaching and the thousands more who will use the new Student Services Center made possible by their generosity.”

After the renovation is complete the building will provide a new home for the Registrar, Bursar and Financial Aid Offices as well as the Offices of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. This means that not only will students benefit from the new building, but also parents, faculty and staff at the University. The Kershner Student Center will offer many new advances for WCU.

According to Norma Clayton, the WCU Director of Planned Giving; “the Kershner gift is the largest the University has ever received from a former faculty or staff member. In addition to supporting this project, the Kershners had previously used charitable gift annuities to establish endowments to support the library and athletic scholarships.”

The soon-to-be Kershner building, which resides at 25 University Avenue, has not yet extended a date for the new renovations to take place. However, thanks to the Kershners the building will no longer need funding.

Teachers like the retired Kershner inspire not only their former students but the faculty, peers, and staff around them. Dr. Kershner extended his heart into teaching and both he and his wife have graciously touched the lives of students that will attend WCU for years to come.

Along with the generosity that Dr. and Mrs. Kershner have made, they have also enlightened the hearts of many students. Academically Dr. Kershner has opened and expanded the mind of many students while previously teaching at West Chester University. His generosity is now a great example for WCU Planned Giving, being that he and his wife are the largest gift givers out of any of WCU’s faculty and staff to this date.

Planned Giving at West Chester University is said to be “the process of making a gift which maximizes the donor’s needs and objectives and uses current tax laws to increase the benefit to both the donor and West Chester University.”

The type of donation that Dr. and Mrs. Kershner have given is called a bequest; which is “where the donor uses the asset during his/her lifetime and the Foundation receives the asset at the donor’s death.”

Leanne Sturt is a second-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at

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