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Lycoming College celebrates over $24 million in new gifts to endowed scholarships at luncheon honoring recipients and benefactors

April 24, 2019

On Sunday, April 14, Lycoming College hosted its annual Scholarship Day Luncheon in Pennington Lounge on campus with 175 guests in attendance. The event provides students and their families time to celebrate with scholarship donors and express appreciation for the opportunities their generosity has provided — fueling a new generation of Warriors to think deeply and act boldly.

Scholarships provide the most essential support for Lycoming College, making it possible for every student to have the opportunity to learn, grow, achieve, and contribute meaningfully to their immediate surroundings and ultimately the world. The College set an ambitious goal to raise $20 million toward endowed scholarships during its Campaign for a Greater Lycoming. “I am very pleased to share that with under three months remaining in the Campaign, we have reached our goal and have secured over $24 million in gifts and commitments to create new or provide additional funding to existing scholarships at Lycoming,” said Chip Edmonds ’98, executive vice president.

Robb Dietrich, senior director of major and planned gifts, welcomed guests to the luncheon. Lycoming College President Kent Trachte followed with opening remarks and reflected on the impact scholarships have on the success of Lycoming students. “Our financial aid budget has grown by more than $8 million during the past five years — a 26 percent increase,” he said. “It is important that we continuing growing endowed scholarships and current use scholarships if we are to remain competitive in recruiting exceptional students, not only through financial aid but by also making investments in programs and facilities.”

“This luncheon is about expressing our gratitude to all the donors who have made gifts that enabled the College to award more than $30 million in financial aid during the current academic year,” continued Trachte. “Their generosity is the lifeblood that allows Lycoming to fulfill its mission. It enables the College to compete for and recruit every year talented and high-achieving students from across the United States and around the world. It enables the College to create opportunity for all who are qualified for admission regardless of financial circumstances. It enables us to broaden minds, prepare young people for the responsibilities of citizenship, and educate the next generation of leaders.”

Scholarship recipient Rebecca Forbes ’19, a quantitative economics and Spanish double-major with a minor in business administration, addressed the donors with stories about how their scholarship support provided her the ability to expand her horizons as a student at Lycoming. “Your financial support allowed me the opportunity to pursue study abroad. As a Spanish major, I can say that my time abroad was one of the most formative experiences I could ever have. I couldn’t be more thankful for the lessons, memories, and confidence gained during my time in Latin America.”

Michael Dressler ’19 grew up in a blue-collar, lower middle-class family and never imagined that college was in his future. After working long hours with little pay for two years post-high school graduation, he was introduced to Lycoming and said, “I knew immediately upon receiving my admissions letter that my life was never going to be the same.” The philosophy major and political science minor will begin his first year at the Williams & Mary Law School in Virginia in the fall. To the donors, Dressler shared, “I hope you all know how much of a difference one scholarship can make in the life of a kid who — at least in his mind — was never meant to experience any of this or know the life that he now lives.”

Edmonds provided the closing remarks, offering encouragement to the students to work hard, pursue excellence, and make Lycoming proud, and expressing profound thanks to the College’s benefactors. “May we all leave this place encouraged and grateful for the good of those who give generously and mightily to provide one of the world’s most important goods — a first-rate education.”

Arial view of Lycoming College football field