By Geoff Hallett and Laura Stocker Waldhier, Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK — The Penn State’s Senior Class Gift Committee has announced that the class of 2013 has chosen to create a “We Are” sculpture on campus as its gift to the University.
The sculpture will consist of large, three-dimensional letters, spelling the iconic “We Are,” with the words of the Penn State Alma Mater inscribed across them in the original handwriting of Fred Lewis Pattee. The words to the alma mater were written in April 1901 by Pattee, professor of American literature, and embody Penn State pride. The inscription on the sculpture will serve as a visual representation of what it truly means to be a Penn Stater, according to Morgan Delaware, overall chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee.
“For over 120 years, the senior class gift program has been an outlet for students to give back to Penn State, as a way of thanking the institution for the years of excellence, education and memories,” said Delaware at the announcement. “I think this gift really expresses the pride we feel for this University, and I hope it will inspire that same pride in all the classes to come after us.”
Delaware also noted that this year’s seniors have the opportunity to make an even greater impact with their pledges.
“If members of the class of 2013 make at least 3,300 pledges by April 15 of next year, loyal Penn State alumni and donors Ed and Helen Hintz will endow a Trustee Scholarship in the class’ name, helping to ensure an education for the brightest students with the most financial need,” she said.
New Jersey residents, the Hintzes are longtime leaders in University philanthropic activities, supporting such projects as the Hintz Family Alumni Center and the Presidential Leadership Academy. The couple made a similar scholarship challenge to the class of 2012, which reached its goal by April 15, 2012.
More than 1,700 seniors cast their ballots last week, in person and online, to vote for one of three gift proposals. The other two proposals on the ballot were the Rec Hall Beautification and the donation to the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children. The gift selection committee chose the three finalists from more than 150 proposals submitted by members of the University community.
“Class gifts go well beyond providing a tangible symbol of the loyalty and pride of a class; the class gift connects your class to every Penn State class before you,” said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. “A ‘We Are’ sculpture enhanced with the words of the Penn State Alma Mater combines two of Penn State’s most cherished expressions of who we are … It will certainly become a ‘must see’ landmark on campus.”
Funding for the class gift comes from seniors pledging all or a portion of their general deposit or by making cash gifts. The University holds the $100 deposit during a student’s time at Penn State and uses it to cover unforeseen expenses, fees and emergency costs.
The 2013 Senior Class Gift Committee includes Morgan Delaware, overall chair; Kathy Andrusisin, communications chair; Daneale Ashkenazy, marketing chair; Logan Cawley, student relations chair; Andy Pergrin, fundraising chair; Sophia Perri, gift development chair; and Lia Tjotjos, events chair.
The tradition of class gifts began when the class of 1861, at its reunion in 1890, gave the University a portrait of Penn State’s first president, Evan Pugh, which still hangs in the lobby of Old Main.
For more information about Penn State’s senior class gift program, visit http://www.seniorclassgift.psu.edu, the Penn State Senior Class Gift page on Facebook, or follow the campaign on Twitter at @PSUSeniors.