On Thursday Oct. 27, 2022, West Chester University held its yearly President’s Circle Ceremony which first started in 2011.
This ceremony celebrates and thanks donors who contribute to West Chester University. The University is currently in the middle of a comprehensive campaign, 150Forward: The Campaign for WCU, with a goal to raise $65 million for student success. So far, the campaign has raised at least $50 million.
“Each year, the President’s Circle Ceremony gives us the opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary individuals and community partners whose generosity is making direct, impactful differences in the lives of our students — 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,” stated President Christopher Fiorentino. “Our students, and more than 124,000 of their graduated peers, are going to change the world, and these people help them get there.”
Members who attend the President’s Circle Ceremony belong to three unique philanthropic leadership societies including the Carillon Society, the Heritage Society and Community Partners.
The Carillon Society recognizes West Chester’s most loyal donors who have been giving for consecutive years at the following levels:
- Diamond Club (25+ Years)
- Amethyst Club (20-24 Years)
- Topaz Club (10-19 Years)
The Heritage Society recognizes West Chester’s most generous donors for their lifetime philanthropic leadership at the following levels:
- The 1871 Society ($100,000+)
- Old Main Society ($50,000-$99,999)
- Arch Society ($10,000-$49,999)
Lastly, Community Partners were recognized who give gifts of $25,000 or more. Beyond financial support, many of the organizations also offer additional resources such as internship and employment opportunities for WCU students.
An artist showcase was presented by Maya Wasileski who graduated from West Chester University in 2021 as a based potter. She gave a very special speech informing the donors of how essential their donations really are. She had said that there were times she felt she could not finish school due to costs and the scholarships she received by these donations really helped her get back on her feet.
A few organizations including the Golden Ram Society, which is a group of student volunteers that are given tasks including registration supported the Foundation by representing the University.
Student musicians from the Wells School of Music performed classy music for this event as well. A guitarist, saxophonist and bassist took the stage and greeted guests as they walked in.
Here are the 2022 President’s Award Honorees:
- Carol L. Kashow ‘77
- Celia C. Esplugas and John W. Ward
- Scott W. Reid ‘96
- Independence Blue Cross Foundation
“Our students make difficult choices every day on this campus; they juggle jobs, full course loads and personal responsibilities — our donors know this,” said Deb Cornelius ’91, the Interim Executive Director of the WCU Foundation. “Their passion for the well-being of our students is reflected in their support of scholarships, educational opportunities, enhanced program experiences and leading-edge technologies — they step up, and as many of us are fellow Golden Rams, we pay it forward and help set our students up for success.”
The next major celebration will be West Chester University’s 40th Anniversary Presidential Scholarship Community Gala at Longwood Gardens on Saturday, March 25th, 2023.
Sean Wattman is a second-year psychology major with a minor in journalism. SW970700@wcupa.edu