Lycoming College celebrates over $19 million in new gifts to endowed scholarships

Lycoming College celebrates over $19 million in new gifts to endowed scholarships

(L to R) Benjamin Conrad '19, Frank Kindler '77 and Melissa Bilza '19

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On Sunday, April 22, Lycoming College hosted its annual Scholarship Day Luncheon in Pennington Lounge on campus with more than 120 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. Lycoming is grateful to its loyal donors for supporting initiatives that assist in offering an outstanding and affordable education for its students.

During the 2017-18 academic year, Lycoming provided more than $31 million in scholarships and financial aid to its student body. A portion of these awards are funded through endowed scholarships, which have been established by generous alumni and friends. As part of its Campaign for a Greater Lycoming, $19.2 million has already been committed to new or existing endowed scholarship funds, including more than $4.5 million in new gifts over the past 12 months.

Guests were welcomed by Robb Dietrich, senior director of major and planned gifts. Lycoming College President Kent Trachte followed with opening remarks and reflected on the impact scholarships have on the success of Lycoming students. “This luncheon is about expressing our gratitude to all the donors whose gifts help the College to fulfill its mission to compete for and recruit every year talented and high-achieving students from across the United States and around the world. Their generosity enables the College to create opportunity for all who are qualified for admission regardless of financial circumstances,” says Trachte. “This luncheon is also a time to celebrate our scholars who enrich the intellectual, social, and cultural life of this campus.”

Scholarship recipients Melissa Bilza ’19 and Benjamin Conrad ’19 addressed the audience and shared their experiences at Lycoming and how receiving scholarship assistance has been beneficial to their educational journey. Bilza is a music and corporate communications double major with a minor in business administration. Conrad is a religion major with a biblical languages minor. Both are Lycoming Scholars.

Keynote speaker Frank Kindler ’77, president of Planet Fitness Central PA, spoke about why he is a proud supporter of Lycoming and highlighted two lessons he says have made an impact on his life. “When you take the time to get to know someone, you realize how much easier it is to relate to them and make a connection. I’ve also found that sometimes all a person needs is a few words of encouragement. If you focus on really getting to know people and encouraging others, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.” Kindler, who studied business administration and economics, was an exemplary student-athlete who learned the skills of leadership, hard work, and dedication through his experiences in the classroom and on the football field at Lycoming. Throughout his successful career, as a business owner and long-time high school head football coach, he used the skills he honed and developed at Lycoming to impact his community.

The luncheon concluded with remarks by Chip Edmonds ’98, executive vice president, thanking donors once again for their generosity and helping to create a Greater Lycoming. “Thank you to our keynote and student speakers whose testaments demonstrate both the power of investing in education and how these investments are transformed into people who make a profound difference to this community and ultimately the world.”

  • (L to R) Benjamin Conrad '19, Frank Kindler '77 and Melissa Bilza '19

    (L to R) Benjamin Conrad '19, Frank Kindler '77 and Melissa Bilza '19

  • Cynthia '66 and Jim Clippinger with their scholarship recipients

    Cynthia '66 and Jim Clippinger with their scholarship recipients

  • Robb Dietrich

    Robb Dietrich

  • Frank Kindler '77

    Frank Kindler '77

  • Melissa Bilza '19

    Melissa Bilza '19

  • Benjamin Conrad '19

    Benjamin Conrad '19

  • Chip Edmonds '98

    Chip Edmonds '98