Blues and White Gala raises nearly $26,000 for student scholarships
Nearly 125 people attended the black-tie event held at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Local WTAE-TV anchor Michelle Wright was the gala’s mistress of ceremonies, and popular entertainers No Bad JuJu provided the music that had people dancing for hours. Both silent and live auctions were successful and gala attendees went home with some noteworthy items, including sports memorabilia, travel, shopping and dining packages, and much more.
Brian Fernandes, director of Student and Enrollment Services, reports, “Some 1,100 students attend Penn State Fayette, which is Fayette County’s only four-year institution of higher learning. Our campus has a unique role in the region and students understand the benefit of earning a Penn State degree—they know the world-wide reputation of the University can give them a leg-up as they pursue careers. The Blues and White Gala helps close the financial gap for a number of our students, both new enrollments who will begin classes in the fall as well as returning students.”
The gala also provided the Fayette campus an opportunity to recognize two “Friends of Penn State Fayette”: Pennsylvania Sen. Richard A. Kasunic and Centra Bank, represented by Centra founder and CEO Douglas J. Leech Jr. The special honors were created to recognize an individual or organization in the private sector and another in the public sector who have been very supportive of Penn State Fayette.
Penn State Fayette Interim Chancellor Francis K. Achampong recognized the significance of the gala in saying, “We do know that higher education has tremendous value both to those who have the opportunity to attend a post-secondary institution and to society as a whole. Having generous people and organizations commit time and resources to raise scholarship funds that make a high-quality Penn State education accessible to students who would otherwise not be able to afford it is truly to be commended.”
Penn State Fayette students and the Nittany Lion were on hand at the gala to assist attendees with registration and the auctions. The gala’s planning committee was comprised of campus and community leaders, including honorary chairman Dr. Philip Savini, superintendent of the Brownsville Area School District.
Some of the gala’s key sponsors included 84 Lumber Company, Nemacolin Woodlands resort, Centra Bank, Elouise R. Eberly, Ford Business Machines, Joshua and Maria Swimmer, BAE Systems, Mr. and Mrs. W. Gerald Blaney, Ida M. Procyk, University Commons Student Housing, Williams, Advanced Acoustic Concepts, CRH Catering, Pennsylvania Services Corporation—An Affiliate of Alpha Natural Resources, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne H. Port, and Uniontown Mall.
The Blues and White Gala was conceived by the late Chancellor Dr. Emmanuel I. Osagie. In its two year history, the gala has raised nearly $60,000 for student scholarships.
Penn State Fayette Interim Chancellor Francis K. Achampong (left) presents a “Friend of Penn State Fayette” Nittany Lion to Pennsylvania State Sen. Richard A. Kasunic at the April 17 Penn State Fayette Blues and White Gala. (photo credit: Furnace Hill Photography)
Douglas J. Leech Jr., founder and CEO of Centra Bank, receives a “Friend of Penn State Fayette” Nittany Lion on behalf of Centra Bank at the April 17 Penn State Fayette Blues and White Gala, as Penn State Fayette Interim Chancellor Francis K. Achampong looks on. (photo credit: Furnace Hill Photography)