The WCU 33rd Annual Presidential Gala was held at Hollinger Field House on Saturday, April 2.
The theme, Pyramids of Progress, honored four recipients of the Presidential Scholarship, as well as commemorating past recipients of the scholarship. The black-tie event included a silent auction, cocktail reception, elegant cuisine and dancing. The event hosted hundreds of alumni and other guests to support the progression of education for future generations of regional business, education and non-profit leaders.
The event was also President Greg Weisenstein and Sandra Weisenstein’s farewell gala, as the president officially ended his tenure on Thursday, March 31.
The event featured a variety of Egyptian paraphernalia including belly dancers and waiters and servers with Egyptian face makeup and golden snake necklaces.
Many familiar faces were seen at the event, including 2016’s Miss WCU, Nia Andrews, clad in her tiara and sash.
“Who would have thought that our gym could look like this?” Andrews said.
She talked about coming to the gala solely to support WCU.
“Today I’m just here as a guest to learn more about what goes on at West Chester behind the scenes,” said Andrews.”
After a silent auction and cocktail reception, a video was presented, honoring President Weisenstein and Sandra Weisenstein’s many years at West Chester. The video featured many familiar faces, including Mayor of West Chester Carolyn Comitta, Dean of the Honors College Dr. Kevin Dean, and more.
Weisenstein then made a speech, remarking on his time at West Chester and expressing the difficulty in leaving.
“My wife and I have made a lot of friends at West Chester, and it’s hard to leave our friends,” said Weisenstein.
Weisenstein then commented on the importance of this school’s future generations of students, saying that our legacy lies with the students who graduate and go one to impact the lives of the people around them and make big changes.
Scholarship recipients showed up with their friends and family to celebrate their accomplishments. Christina George, one of the scholarship recipients, spoke about how happy she was when she initially received the scholarship.
“I originally didn’t get any scholarship money… but then I got a letter in the mail and got very excited. I did a lot of work in high school and it kind of felt like it was all for nothing, so receiving the letter was a nice suprise,” said George.
George then spoke about all the hard work she did in high school.
“I was in all [Advanced Placement] classes and also I am a music major so I was involved in honors band, marching band, jazz band and other musical stuff. I was crazy busy all the time,” said George.
Also in attendance was interim president Chris Fiorentino, whom Weisenstein introduced, remarking on Fiorentino’s great future moving thos school foward as president.
Fiorentino’s presidency effectively began Apri 1 and will last until the end of the semester.
Fioretnino has been at West Chester for over 20 years, and has not only acted as professor, but also as a Dean of WCU’s College of Buisness and Public Affairs and as a Vice President.
Proceeds from the gala will go to the Presidential Scholarships.
Kinjal Shah is a second-year student majoring in English. They can be reached at KS826308@wcupa.edu