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Giving back is music to Paul Rounsaville's ears

Paul Rounsaville '67 and Amy (Dowling) Reyes '04 at President Trachte's Inauguration in 2014
Paul Rounsaville '67 and Amy (Dowling) Reyes '04 at President Trachte's Inauguration in 2014

Paul Rounsaville first visited Lycoming College to accompany his friend, Carol Anderson ’67, who was interested in attending. During that visit, Paul quickly fell in love with what he saw and heard around campus. At one point, he was sitting in Old Main waiting for his friend. “Long story short, I ended up being offered a financial aid package and decided to attend Lycoming myself!” He was the first in his family to attend college.

Paul graduated from Lycoming in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and went on to earn his Master of Divinity. He is the retired director of Fountain House, an independent living center for the elderly located in New York City, where he worked for 25 years with residents to enable healthy and fulfilling lives.

While a student, Paul sang in the Lycoming Choir. His interaction with Walter McIver, founder and former director of the Lycoming Choir, provided a profound impact on his life. A favorite memory Paul recalls was in 1964 when the tour choir visited the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. “We were to sing Ralph von Williams’ ‘Towards an Unknown Region’ in the balcony for the chapel service, and McIver turned to the congregation and dedicated the piece to John F. Kennedy Jr. Our performance was very beautiful and transcendent.”

“For a long time, I didn’t think much about Lycoming College. Then in 2004, a very powerful event in my life took place — the death of my beloved sister, Ruth.” It was in 2007 when Paul established the Rounsaville Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to memorialize the life of his sister. A year later, he made plans for a portion of his estate to be added to the scholarship fund upon his passing. “I hope future graduates will think about the important events in their own lives, or remember someone very special to them, and consider setting up a scholarship or bequest at Lycoming.”

The Rounsaville endowment provides the resources for future generations of students to experience the same kind of learning and enrichment Paul gained as a student under the mentorship of Mr. McIver and the Lycoming community. The funds support an annual scholarship with preference given to students participating in a choral music ensemble. “Providing this scholarship for those who also have a love of choral music makes me feel more connected to Lycoming than ever.”

“The campus has changed so dramatically over the years, and the vision under President Trachte is wonderful. I applaud all the people on campus who are making this vision become reality, and perhaps my contributions will play a small part. I encourage others to think about their priorities and give back to the school that has given us so much.”

Arial view of Lycoming College football field