Penn State Athletics Fall 2015 Endowment Event
This fall's endowment event was a brunch held on Sunday, October 11th. It was a morning devoted to remembering all the aspects that make Penn State Athletics one-of-a-kind and thanking all the generous donors who make student-athletes' successes on the field and in the classroom possible.
"From the moment I first stepped foot on campus for my official visit, I was surrounded by people who were dedicated and driven, who lived the right lifestyle, and most importantly, who made Penn State feel like home to me. It is often said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that is undoubtedly true in our case," said Kasey Kemp of the women's track and field team.
Penn State athletic teams and their donors were invited to the Bryce Jordan Center for the brunch. The program provided donors, student-athletes, coaches and administrators the opportunity to celebrate all of the athletic teams along with the donors who contribute to their success.
The theme of the brunch "Forever Blue and White," emphasizes the long term impact the donors have on the student-athletes, coaches, and the University. To start off the morning, a jazz ensemble played as students welcomed their donors. Student-athletes and their donors were also able to take pictures together at the photo booth. Brunch was served buffet-style with a large array of breakfast and lunch options. A program followed featuring Athletic Director, Sandy Barbour as well as current and former student-athlete speakers. The morning 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. During the program, guests heard about the four pillars that make Penn State Athletics special: Excellence, Pride, Family and Tradition. Barbour was the first speaker to make her way to the stage to explain what excellence is to Penn State.
Next, Kemp spoke about what pride meant to her. "Pride is the quality or state of being proud. But if you look it up in the dictionary, you will see that pride is also defined as a group of lions forming a social unit, and that's exactly what we are here at Penn State. Our pride in our university is what makes us a family, what makes us so successful, and what makes us want to carry on our traditions," she said.
Baseball player James Coates, who followed in the path of his father as a Penn State student-athlete, spoke about the third pillar: family. "My family is everyone that wears the Blue and White," he said. "I know in my heart that becoming a member of this incredible family was the best decision I could have ever made."
The final pillar of tradition was explained by Kathy Drysdale, a proud alumna of the women's basketball team from 1988-92. She said, "Play for those who played before you - As you continue your season, start practice or are working in your non-traditional season think about that. Where you are ranked right now doesn't just happen overnight. You are here to continue that path and raise the bar for those that are coming in after you."
The program concluded with the traditional singing of our alma mater by the talented Penn State Singing Lions.
The morning focused on these four pillars and allowed student-athletes the time to thank donors for being reminders of each and every one of them. Scholarships allow student-athletes to live out their dream of performing in outstanding athletic programs all while receiving a top of the line education to carry on the traditions at Penn State.
The generous contributions of Forever Blue and White donors have provided numerous student-athletes with the opportunities to be taught by accomplished professors, coached by a 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 lasting reminder to these student-athletes of the passion and pride that comes with being a Penn Stater, and giving back to future generations of student-athletes.
Forever Blue and White donors not only impact the lives of Penn State's student-athletes, but our coaching staff as well. Penn State's coaches take great pride in recruiting the top student- athletes in the world, and are able to do so because of the substantial support from the donors, who make student-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 and 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. After Drysdale did the WE ARE chant at the brunch, she said "That is tradition. That is Penn State. We are thousands of people strong and that is the one thing that keeps us all, as Penn Staters, bonded together for life." Our expansive, generous, support network of Forever Blue and White donors that invest in dreams, and continue to be our inspiration, is what makes being a Penn State student-athlete such an honor. As Kemp stated, "I am proud to wear the Penn State uniform when I compete, knowing that I am representing something so much bigger than myself." It is evident in all Penn State Athletic successes that the key ingredient 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. To learn more about how to endow a scholarship, and impact the life of one of Penn State's student-athletes please visit www.nittanylionclub.com or call 814-863-GIFT. Listed below are the links to videos of the four pillars which were shared at the event. We hope you enjoy watching them again.