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The first ever spring edition of the endowment dinner was held on Friday, April 17. It was an evening devoted to thanking all the shining stars in our student-athletes' lives. Of course we are referring to the generous donors who make student-athletes successes on the field and in the classroom possible.
"It is exceptional people like you, that make Penn State so special," said women's lacrosse player, and the evening's emcee, Tatum Coffey.
Penn State fall athletic teams and their donors were invited to the Bryce Jordan Center for an evening that provided donors, student-athletes, coaches and administrators the opportunity to celebrate the teams' accomplishments along with the donors who contribute to their success.
"Forever Blue & White," emphasizes the long term impact the donors have on the student-athletes, coaches, and the University. To start off the evening, all of the student-athletes in attendance took the stage to introduce themselves and then visited with their donors during dinner. A program followed featuring coaches and student-athlete speakers as well as Athletic Director, Sandy Barbour. The evening served as a reminder that the success of Penn State's student-athletes is a culmination of their hard-work, fighting spirit, and their unmatched support network.
Guests heard of the athletic and academic accomplishments of our star athletes, but the most celebrated stars of the night were the donors. The evening focused on expressing gratitude and appreciation to donors for providing scholarships resources. These scholarships allow our student-athletes to live out their dreams of performing in outstanding athletic programs all while receiving a top of the line education.
Women's field hockey player, Laura Gebhart gave many thanks to her "village" of supporters that have made her numerous achievements as a Penn State student-athlete possible. "It has been the unwavering support, honest advice, and generous contributions that have pushed me to strive for the highest of goals," said Laura, "you have enabled me to take advantage of some of the many wonderful things Penn State has to offer." Laura, a student-athlete who has studied Community, Environment and Development the past four years as a Schreyers' Honors College student, graciously thanked everyone in the room for being a part of her journey and allowing her to take full advantage of all that Penn State has to offer.
Football defensive end, Carl Nassib, expressed his sincere gratitude for the extraordinary gifts our donors make to the university they love so much, and for the student-athletes they are proud to support. Carl reminisced about the day he was given the news that he had received his endowed scholarship and recalled it as, "one of the most memorable days of my life." It is because of our shining stars, our generous donors, that student-athletes like Carl can enjoy every moment of their Penn State athletic and academic career. As Carl said, "what we achieve in our time here at Penn State is truly unrivaled," and his journey is something he will treasure for the rest of his life.
The generous contributions of Forever Blue & White donors has enabled Laura, Carl and other numerous student-athletes with the opportunities to learn from accomplished professors, coached by world renowned coaching staff, and to train in some of the country's top facilities with access to advanced performance technologies. These opportunities will serve as a forever reminder to these student-athletes of the passion and pride that comes with being a Penn Stater, and giving back to future generations.
Forever Blue & White donors not only impact the lives of Penn State's student-athletes, but our distinguished coaching staff as well. Penn State's coaches take great pride in recruiting the top athletes in the world, and are able to do so because of the substantial support from the donors, who make athletes' dreams of being able to proudly wear the blue and white possible.
The student-athletes were also reminded of the meaning of "Forever Blue & White" and that their decision in the future to give back will be essential in ensuring the continued tradition of excellence in Penn State Athletics. As Field Hockey Head Coach, Char Morett Curtiss said, "The Penn State experience is a lifelong journey and this evening is a wonderful opportunity for us as coaches and our student-athletes to personally thank those who have helped in our successes. This is who WE ARE..."
Our expansive, generous, support network of Forever Blue & White donors that invest in dreams, and continue to be our stars, is what makes being a Penn State student-athlete such an honor. As Tatum stated, "Your support allows Penn State Athletics to roar." It is evident that the key ingredient to our accomplishments is the Penn State Family, and the pride every past, present and future Nittany Lion carries with them. It is our gracious family of donors that keeps the Penn State spirit roaring on for years to come.
The video presentation from the dinner of One Journey, One Place to see how the lives of Penn State's student-athletes have been made brighter by our generous donors is below.
To learn more about how to endow a scholarship, and be a shining star in the life of one of Penn State's student-athletes please visit www.gopsusports.com/nittanylionclub or call 814-863-GIFT.
Click here to visit our photo gallery from the dinner.