Penn State Athletics Spring 2017 Endowment Event
The 2017 Forever Blue & White Endowment Dinner was held Friday, April 21. Once again it was a memorable evening that brought together many of our current student athletes with the donors who have generously provided support with named scholarships.
The dinner, with the "Pride of the Lion" theme was a night to remember as guests were greeted by the warm hues and sophisticated sounds of the Serengeti. Bamboo chairs, table linens that resembled animal prints, and wild grass transformed the Bryce Jordan Center main arena into the plains of Africa. We had the pleasure to welcome former Penn State football wide out and current game day sideline reporter Derrick Williams as our host for the evening. He brought back many memories to the crowd as he took us back to the days of 2005- 2008 during his time roaming the fields. His connection and engagement to the current student-athletes seemed to transcend time even though he was a student close to a decade before many of them. Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour shared words of thanks on behalf of the University for the support the donors have shown to Penn State over the many years. Senior Associate Athletic Director for Advancement Joe Foley reiterated that the passion of this group of supporters demonstrates the core values of "student" in the term student athlete. "Your generosity continues to allow Penn State Athletics to award the maximum number of scholarships permitted by the NCAA to our students, helping our mission of delivering a lifetime of impact." One of the many highlights was when Derrick welcomed on stage a panel discussion group, which included Men’s Lacrosse Coach Jeff Tambroni, Women’s Soccer player Salina Williford, Women’s Ice Hockey Captain Laura Bowman, and Football player Andrew Nelson. Questions such as your favorite Creamery ice cream flavor, your favorite class, as well as least favorite started off the session. However, when asked to explain why they choose Penn State, whether Coach Tambroni’s response of the support from the whole community, to Andrew saying the family atmosphere, one thing that was consistent was the people surrounding them. "When I was being recruited, I felt that no matter what happened to me on the field, I was always going to be a part of the family", said Williford. She went on to tell her story of being injured in the early part of the season during the 2015 NCAA championship team’s amazing run, but she always felt connected to the program. "I was able to be with my teammates, just as I know I will be when we leave here to go out and make a difference when we are finished with school." No evening with fellow Penn Staters would be complete without the signing of the alma mater. Meaghan Coleman from the Women’s Golf team led the over 500 people in attendance to an outstanding rendition that seemed to spread out of the doors of the Bryce Jordan Center and filled Happy Valley. It is evident in all Penn State athletic successes that the key ingredient is the Penn State Family, and it is 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.