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Bloomsburg University Foundation Scholarship Luncheon
Bloomsburg University Foundation Scholarship Luncheon
Student need is far more personal and complex than a simple lack of funding. For some, it's seemingly insurmountable barrier that blocks access to education and imposes limits on both professional and personal opportunities for a lifetime.
At Bloomsburg University, named scholarships help break down this barrier, giving deserving students help in achieving their educational goals. Thanks to donors who are willing to personally invest in students, cultivate learning, and inspire discovery, our students have access to a future full of possibilities. #thankaBUdonor
Thank you ...
Often, students receiving scholarships never see the face behind the gift. But this isn’t the case at Bloomsburg University, which hosted its annual Bloomsburg University Foundation Scholarship Luncheon on April 6, in the Kehr Union Ballroom.
More than 570 Bloomsburg University graduate and undergraduate students receive scholarships each year. The luncheon connects these donors and scholarship recipients, providing opportunities to network and experience firsthand the impact of a BU education on students and alumni alike. More than 160 attended this year’s event, which offered an opportunity for donors to meet the recipients of their gifts and share how their experiences led them to support Bloomsburg University.
Foundation Scholarship Luncheon Speakers
- Ira Blake, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs
- Erik Evans, vice president for university advancement
- Patricia Mica ‘67, featured guest
- Danny Fisher '14, featured guest
It was, indeed, an honor to be asked to speak at this Annual Scholarship Luncheon. But, first, as Chairman of the Bloomsburg University Foundation, I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of the donors for the generosity you have shown to the University and its students. Without you, the dreams of a higher education and better future for those who are the recipients may not have been realized.
And to the students, congratulations on being chosen to benefit from the scholarships provided by these donors. Your hard work and determination to achieve your goals has been generously rewarded. And we hope each of you will be ambassadors for the University and help us spread the message of the importance of giving back.
We all have different stories as to how we got where we are. Just this week, I was asked to tell why I became committed to Bloomsburg University. It began about 50 years ago when I first arrived on campus, scared to death, wearing my Dink, and not walking on specific sidewalks reserved only for upperclassmen. My sister was already a sophomore here, so that was a little help. Waller Hall was still standing and Long Porch was a wonderful place to sit and relax. It was a beautiful campus. My first semester was actually pretty good. I had a very nice roommate and a great Big Sister. But, the beginning of my second semester brought a huge change in my life. I had just unpacked from returning to school after the semester break when the Dean of Women knocked on my door and had to tell me my father had passed away just before we had arrived back and that a family friend was on his way to take us back home.
My sister and I had to decide whether to stay in school or leave and go home to help my mother. Of course, the decision to complete our educations was the right one. My parents did not have the means to pay for my sister and me to attend college and there were two more children still at home. Fortunately, in those days, the state of Pennsylvania actually picked up most of the cost of our education. That’s what state institutions did and what made it possible for so many of us to attend college. What I was able to earn in the summers and during holidays as a waitress at home was actually enough to cover all of my expenses, just barely. At least until my senior year, when I was forced to borrow money from my little brother who was a paper boy and saved every penny he earned. And I paid him back… with interest! Of course, there was no car, cell phone, sorority, television or any of the “necessities” that students have today. Just the basics. We were first generation college students, children of first generation Americans. I was an average student, and therefore did not receive any scholarship assistance. But, I knew I wanted to be an elementary school teacher and that once I had that degree, no one could take that away from me. I would have a profession and a job! How nice it would have been to have just had a little help. Student loans were not what they are today and I just did not want to owe anything when I finished.
Getting a teaching job in those days was not as difficult as today, especially if you were a Bloom graduate. The recruiters came from all the surrounding states as we had a reputation for graduating well trained, professional teachers. Bloomsburg gave me the confidence to be the best teacher I could be. In all facets of our college life we were taught to be professional, we were to be the teachers and leaders of the next generation. Just a side note, we actually had to dress in heels and men in coats and ties to go to dinner! The good old days!
I tell all of this to express how much of a role Bloomsburg played in the formation of my professional and personal life. Sometimes we do not realize the impact of people and places in our lives until much later in life.
Over the years I had given to the Annual Fund once in a while, but not on a regular basis. I had thought about doing more, but I had lived in Florida for over 30 years and just never gotten back to campus. Then, I received a notice about an alumni event in my area and I decided I would attend. Much to my dismay, there was only a handful of people who attended. I immediately started to think about how I could help to increase that attendance. By now, my children were grown and we were in a position where I could think about giving more to the University. I mentioned to President Kozloff and the director of the Foundation that I was thinking about setting up a scholarship for an elementary education major. And that was how it began.
Before I knew it, I was hooked! I not only established the scholarship, but I was talking about ways to get more alumni in Florida to attend events and began hosting them in my home. Funny how the personal touch makes such a difference! Next came the request for me to serve on the Foundation Board. Could I really attend meetings four times a year from Florida? One trip back to campus, which now went way beyond what I was familiar with, even a football stadium that was on some hill that used to be a golf course, and I was hooked. How could I not do this? Little did I know that six years later I would be serving as chairman of this amazing, dedicated Board. It has been a wonderful experience and I am so fortunate to be a part of it.
Today, the state is funding the universities at close to 50% less than when I attended school, which makes it even more important for us to be the benefactors for Bloomsburg University and its students and for the Foundation to be good stewards of our donors’ gifts. I am very thankful to have been so blessed in my life to be able to assist, according to the guidelines of my scholarship, that next first generation, elementary education major, who may not have the highest GPA but who is working her, or his, hardest to get that degree and to be the best teacher they can be. I, personally, understand just how far much even a little bit of help can go to take away some of the pressures of college life.
I thank you for the opportunity to share my story of Bloomsburg University and hope that we all continue to be a part of ensuring this institution and its students continue to be the best Pennsylvania has to offer.
— Patricia Mica ‘67, Chair of Bloomsburg University Foundations
It is an absolute pleasure to be here at this great celebration of giving. I am quite humbled to have this opportunity to share my feelings of gratitude towards the generosity of the people in this room. These enablers of potential have changed the game for my peers and I.
The privilege of being a Bloomsburg Husky is everything to me. The gifts I have received have eased both my current and future financial responsibility. It is gestures like yours that make all of the hours spent studying in the library, sweating in the weight room, and executing on the football field worth every effort.
Lets take a moment to think of the different instances throughout humanity when opportunities have changed our world. What if Picasso never got the chance to hold a brush? What if Mozart never touched the keys? What if Neil Armstrong was scared of heights and most importantly what if Danny Hale was a soccer player? I truly believe that the opportunities we encounter and the chances we take define us. We are all here because of the efforts of others that have come before us. Because of my scholarship my grandmother was allowed to tell me she was proud of me after I had a good game. Because of my scholarship I was allowed to take Danny Hale Field at Redman Stadium as A Bloomsburg University Husky and hold a PSAC Championship Trophy. These are both experiences I will tell my kids about. I feel it is of the greatest importance that we remember how we got to where we are today and more importantly, who made it happen. I thank those people.
The impact you donors have on us is bigger than you may think affecting people you have never met bringing peace of mind and peace of heart. Although your gifts are designated to a single person to use towards tuition costs, I think it might shock you to know how many people it actually touches. Because my scholarship allowed me to be a Husky, I was able to set up a senior project this past summer. This project was called kick for a cure. The goal of this movement was to bring some real life value to athletics. Our goal was to convert success on the field to joy in other people’s lives. Kick for a cure was in honor of a family friend Brihanna Rehm. Brihanna is a pretty awesome girl. Brihanna is 19 and has a rare and often misdiagnosed neurological disorder coined Angelman Sydrome. Long story short, Brihanna’s mother, Mamma Rehm, has to take care of Brihanna 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Brihanna is completely dependent. To understand what families with “Angels” go through, is unimaginable. Spending one day with the Rehm family made me realize how lucky I really am.
It made me think, how can I help? This lead my teammates and I to ask donors to sponsor the Huskies and the Angelman Syndrome foundation by donating money for each field goal made this past season. We were fortunate enough to raise over $7,000 and invaluable awareness for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. We had donors literally from sea to shining sea from Yellowstone to Jacksonville.
We are who we are because of who came before us. People with Angels in their lives were directly affected by my scholarship and this is my most valued experience.
For me it is the Klingerman family. You are my enablers. You allowed me to be a Husky. You have impacted my life and helped me to grow as a scholar, an athlete, and as a human. I feel the utmost gratitude for your kindness and cherish your support. I want every student in here today that has received a gift to look their enabler in the eye and say “ Thank you, You have changed my life”
To the Klingerman Family, Thank you, You have changed my life.
Danny Fisher '14, Recipient, Klingerman Family Scholarship