Sun. May 26th, 2024

Image: op-ed-gala

Annually, West Chester University hosts a gala to raise money for the school to support not only its hard working students, but their salient programs. On March 15, 2024, the president decided to bring his 41 long years to an end with a “Starry Night Soirée.” According to the West Chester University newsletter, the gala raised over 69 million dollars — four million dollars over their original goal. 

WCU President Fiorentino took this event as his last opportunity to support his school before his retirement and stepping down as president. Many students benefit from these galas, and several students who were there shared their stories on how the money raised would support them. 

A senior at West Chester told the audience, “My parents raised my brother and me on the idea that they knew we could do better and be better than the situation they were in, [which was] living paycheck to paycheck, getting laid off and having to work more than the average person might,” according to an article from WCU’s newsroom. Many other students from similar backgrounds had similar stories to tell. 

This Starry Night Soirée gala was set to support students who needed help with their last year’s funding of education and technology for school. 

With the university being so huge, it’ll be exciting to see what else the university may do with this money: perhaps another parking lot, a healthier food option or even a bigger health facility. With 69 million dollars having been raised, it is a good opportunity to check in with the WCU student body to see what else these funds could be used for. 

When asked what the university should prioritize funds for, WCU sophomore Lily Burke said, “The money could go to an upgrade of facilities… or the issues of scheduling.”

  Many students seemed to chime in agreement with this response. Another WCU student stated, “renovate the old buildings, add automatic flushers to the bathrooms that don’t have them.”

Additionally, many students seemed to agree with the idea of making WCU’s campus Gen Z friendly. With a campus so huge and having a great status following right behind it, you’d expect something like this to be natural.  Everyday there’s something new happening on campus, whether its staff or faculty — they push students to do whatever it is they desire before they start their career. 

President Fiorentino has left his mark and will follow to be another great president of the university, having led many students to victory and overachievement.  “Our hope is that it will impact many students moving forward,” noted President Fiorentino. 

An impact indeed this gala has left. Each year, West Chester University graduates will appreciate the achievement and hard work they have put in, alongside their loved ones and peers. Experiencing a school full of determination and honor goes a long way: each student is not a number, and it shows. Each student individually stands out, and the gala will stand as living proof.


Brianna Dunn is a second-year Criminal Justice major.

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