On Thursday Sept. 13, family, friends and various members of the WCU community gathered in the Center for Student Involvement in Sykes Student Union to celebrate the life of Toni Kampf.
Kampf passed away on Aug. 25 due to labor complications. She was the Associate Director of Sykes Student Union. Her unborn baby, Joseph E. Kampf, III “Trey” also passed.
Kampf (nee Koch) graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 2002. From there she graduated from Drew University and obtained a master’s degree from the University of Missouri.
She was hired at West Chester University’s Sykes Student Union on August 4, 2008 and remained a constant in the Sykes family. She was an integral part of staffing and assisted through the many renovations of Sykes over the years.
“Every decision I ever made, I made them with Toni,” said Dave Timmann, Director of Sykes Student Union who attended the celebration. “She believed in people, saw beyond the exterior to the potential and allowed people to develop that potential.”
While Timmann and the staff at Sykes Student Union keep the building running no matter what, the loss is felt when speaking to staff and students who work in the various Sykes departments.
“For me Toni was the light and the heart of Sykes. She loved everyone and she was always happy,” said Jazzmine Holmes, a fourth-year student and a member of the Sykes student staff for three years as a Copy Center Associate. “If you were having a bad day and you spoke to Toni, after that conversation you would feel a lot better. It’s not the same here without her. It’s a missing piece to the puzzle.”
“She will continue to be the light of my life and her light and spirit will never leave this building,” said NaQuan Redd, Assistant Director of Sykes Student Union.
During the “Celebration of Toni” in the CSI, everyone who spoke mentioned her smile, and her love for the students she served at Sykes.
“She was passionate about making this a place first and foremost for students,” said Dr. Sara Hinkle, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs. “Toni was committed to making this a place where everyone felt welcome.”
Kampf was also heavily involved with the Association of College Unions International (ACUI). The organization represents student activity centers and student unions in the United States. She attended the annual conferences and made sure students had the opportunity to attend as well.
Jason Levy, Senior Director of Student Center Operations at Temple University spoke fondly of Kampf, who was a colleague and a friend to him as they both were involved with ACUI.
“She was a much better human than I ever was,” said Levy.
Kampf was also a big fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Justin Sochovka ‘14, a WCU alum and former employee of Sykes, brought in one of the Eagles Super Bowl Championship rings for her to see one day.
“She was the most incredibly kind person, but this day she almost knocked down the students near her to get a look at the ring,” Sochovka laughed.
In partnership with Sykes Student Union and the Association of College Unions International, the WCU Foundation is taking donations to create the Toni Kampf Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will sponsor students’ attendance at the annual ACUI Conference.
The WCU Foundation is taking memorial contributions by check and online at wcufoundation.org/memorialgiving.
“She had a lasting impact on a lot of people,” said Zebulun Davenport, Vice President for Student Affairs. “Our job is to make sure Toni’s life and legacy is never forgotten.”
Sunny Morgan is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. SM850037@wcupa.edu.