Donor Impact Report | Albright College

Donor Impact Report

Highlighting the positive impact of your philanthropy on Albright’s students today.

Thank you so much for your donation in support of Albright students. Free from the worry of additional debt, scholarship students are able to focus on what they’re actually here for — an Albright education, which prepares them for success in life and career. One student at a time, your help advances lives and ultimately enables a new generation to create an equitable, sustainable, dynamic world. – Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82, president and professor of chemistry and biochemistry

2019-2020 Academic Year Highlights
$3,619,606 in new gifts and pledges
2,687 donors
470 first-time donors in the 2019 fiscal year
787 first-time donors in the 2020 fiscal year
The Fifth Annual Albright Challenge had the highest number of donors ever at 688 and $101,133 was raised in 1,856 minutes.

View the Fall 2020 Donor Impact Report

We are living in an extraordinary time that calls on us to act with greater resiliency and strength and deeper compassion and empathy. This past year, these values were boldly evident on Albright’s campus and in the tremendous spirit of generosity demonstrated by so many alumni, families and friends of Albright College. Together, the Albright community contributed more than $3.6 million in philanthropic support during the 2019-20 fiscal year.

We are sincerely grateful for your generous gifts, which help strengthen academic excellence and access at Albright, and support our faculty to prepare students for lives of leadership and service. Our focus is on providing the best educational experience for all of our students and enabling them to thrive both inside and outside the classroom, and to go on to build careers and lives of meaning and contribution to the world. Your philanthropic support helps us to fulfill this vision and commitment to our students.

We believe that the life-changing benefits of an Albright education must be equally available to talented, determined students across the broadest range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

We are deeply grateful to Jeffrey ’83 and Cindy Joyce for partnering with us in funding a matching challenge leadership gift for the Advancing Lives Scholarship Initiative. The Joyce Family Foundation Challenge seeks to establish 20 new endowed scholarship funds by providing a match of $12,500 to each newly endowed fund of at least $20,400. We are thrilled to announce that over $4.8 million has been raised towards our goal of $10 million and that this past year, donors established six new endowed scholarships that will receive matching funds from the Joyce Family Challenge. You can read more about the Joyce family and the stories of a few of our wonderful donors and students in this Donor Impact Report.

We are also very grateful to the many donors whose gifts supported our students during the unexpected pivot our campus community made to online learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many gave generously to our Lifting Up Lions Emergency Fund and to a special Advancing Lives General Scholarship Fund to directly help our students impacted by the pandemic. The financial needs of our students continue now, of course, and we are doing everything possible to aid them so they may continue their academic progress. Thank you for your continued partnership.

Finally, as the culmination of an intensive two-year planning process led by President Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., and Provost Karen A. Campbell, Ph.D., the Albright College community, with the endorsement of the Board of Trustees and faculty, approved a new, comprehensive Strategic Vision Paper outlining our mission, core values, key challenges and our vision and goals that we aspire to achieve together as an engaged community. We are excited to share more about this plan in this new academic year.

While we continue to navigate the challenges of welcoming our students on campus this fall — and with significant changes to ensure the health and safety of our community — please know we are grateful for your steadfast support. Your generosity makes a real difference to the experiences and success of our students. On behalf of our entire Albright community, thank you!

With sincere appreciation,
Wendy K. Parsons, CFRE
Vice President for Advancement

Stephen Clarke’s “Uncle Chuck” DeMund ’80 would be honored to know that the family foundation he led and nurtured for decades has established a scholarship in his memory at Albright College. For that matter, so would Clarke’s grandfather, Herman, who established The DeMund Foundation in 1947 — and we dare guess, his great-grandfather, Albright President J. Warren Klein, would as well.

Clarke’s family line has weaved through the fabric of Albright’s history for more than a century. Klein, a founder of Schuylkill Seminary (later Schuylkill College), served as head of Albright’s history department and as vice president and treasurer before assuming the helm of the college’s leadership in 1932. The Great Depression was in full swing during Klein’s presidency, and in response to the significant debt Albright was incurring, he headed to New York City to find benefactors.

“There, he appealed to Henry and Annie Merner-Pfeiffer, who were well known for their philanthropy to both colleges and the Evangelical Society,” Clarke explained. “The gifts they gave to Albright freed the college from debt, provided an endowment and saved Science Hall, built in 1929 for the merger of Schuylkill College and Albright College.”

Four generations later, Clarke is continuing the family’s legacy at Albright by helping to free students from college debt. Clarke, who became president of The DeMund Foundation last year after his uncle’s passing, established the Charles N. DeMund Memorial Scholarship through a $66,000 gift commitment to the Advancing Lives Scholarship Initiative. The gift provides $15,000 for immediate support of four students over the next six years and $51,000 to endow the scholarship in perpetuity.

“As you can see from our family ties to Albright, we, at The DeMund Foundation, are committed to Albright College. Aside from the family connection, Albright is and always has been an excellent higher-education learning institute.” – Stephen Clarke ’80

It is a fitting memorial to the man whose leadership of The DeMund Foundation fostered gifts of more than a quarter-million dollars to Albright College, the only East Coast school to receive money from the family foundation, founded in Arizona and now based in Georgia. It is also a testament to DeMund’s lifelong pursuit of learning, which led to a 36-year career as a science photographer with defense contractor General Dynamics. The images he captured in outer space and the ocean’s depths led to significant advancements in the field of optical sciences and photonics.

Clarke, who founded several consulting companies specializing in sales and use taxes in the healthcare industry before taking on his latest venture as owner of a local national-brand insurance agency, says Albright College will always remain close to his family’s heart. His parents, Peter ’59 and Carol DeMund Clarke ’59, were Albright sweethearts and his younger brother, Douglas, graduated from the college in 1987. Although Clarke was an outlier in that he attended Albright for just one year before transferring to Monmouth College, he is dedicated to continuing the family’s legacy at Albright.

“As you can see from our family ties to Albright, we, at The DeMund Foundation, are committed to Albright College. Aside from the family connection, Albright is and always has been an excellent higher-education learning institute.” – Stephen Clarke ’80

Anaya Collymore ’22 is the third oldest of six siblings — and the first to attend college — in her family. The Brentwood, N.Y., native dreams of becoming a doctor to not only follow her passion and give herself a good future, but to also make her parents proud. The first-generation college student is doing just that, but she knows she would not be where she is without scholarship support.“

The financial aid support I receive from my scholarships has helped me greatly because I am able to focus on my studies a lot more and not have that burden of wondering if I would be able to pay my tuition on time,” said Collymore, a biochemistry major in Albright’s pre-medical program.

Specifically, she said, the Class of 1955 Scholarship and the Trustee Grant have helped her tremendously. “My scholarships contributed to my overall tuition immensely, and I am very grateful for them. I have been exposed to new surroundings and events that I know I would not have been exposed to if I was not awarded this financial support,” Collymore said.

Albright was the smallest of the nine schools to which Collymore was accepted. “Given my complicated major, I believed I would have a better chance of being successful at a smaller school where professors can focus on the students actually learning the material,” she explained.

Dedicated professors are not all Collymore found at Albright, however. From day one, she was given opportunities to form bonds with fellow students. She credits the Peer Orientation Program (POP) for new students and the women’s rugby team with helping her make friends on campus. “The POP activities were set up to force us to interact with others in our class, and I thought that was very fun,” she said.

The rugby team also helped Collymore become part of the Albright community. “They encouraged me to go out and recruit other players, which eventually led to meeting new people and making new friends,” she said.

It also helped Collymore have the confidence to “speak to just about anyone.” The skill will come in handy for the aspiring doctor who plans to specialize in obstetric or cardiothoracic anesthesiology — and she is eternally grateful to the donors who are supporting her through the first leg of her academic journey.

I’m grateful to the donors who have given me an opportunity to advance my education, achieve my dreams, and most importantly, make my parents proud.” Collymore said.

“Opportunities like this are rare where I am from, and I am glad I was able to take advantage of one and further my education.” – Anaya Collymore ’22

Jeffrey J. Joyce ’83, P’16, former chair of Albright’s Board of Trustees, built a career finding innovative, strategic solutions to help companies thrive and grow. He has been an investor for more than 25 years in acquisitive private and public companies as diverse as Corporate Brand Foods America, Summit Automotive and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, just to name a few.

From his start as a commercial banker in Texas to his partnership with Booth Creek Management Corp., a private equity company, Joyce, who has lived in Atlanta, Ga., for 26 years, said, “I have always been blessed to find places and opportunities where I was wanted, needed and felt I could make a difference.”

One of those places is Albright, where he spent more than a decade bringing his enterprising spirit and business expertise to the Board of Trustees. It is also where he and his wife, Cindy, sent their son Patrick ’16 for his undergraduate education, and where the couple have directed much of their philanthropic support. Through private giving and the Joyce Family Foundation, which they established in 2011, the Joyces have given more than $2.3 million to the college and they are not done yet.

“Giving back has always been a core value of our family. Both Cindy and I have been on several nonprofit boards over the past few years. The Joyce Family Foundation is our vehicle for giving and encouraging and teaching our children about philanthropy,” said Joyce, noting that Albright fills several of the criteria set forth in the foundation’s mission.

As Joyce’s tenure on the Board of Trustees was coming to a close in 2019, the Joyce Family Foundation Challenge for the Advancing Lives Scholarship Initiative was created to encourage other donors to establish 20 newly endowed scholarships. Through matching gifts of $12,500 over a six-year period, the foundation is providing the immediate funding for each scholarship while also helping them reach the $25,000 threshold to endow the funds for use in perpetuity. To date, the challenge has given rise to six new scholarships for Albright students.

The Joyces’ $250,000 gift commitment is an investment in the future of Albright students facing financial hardship in their sophomore, junior and senior years. As an alumnus, parent and trustee of Albright, Joyce has seen time and again how the college not only provides students with the tools they need for success, but also creates lifelong connections with them that enrich their lives long after graduation.

“You don’t pick Albright and Albright doesn’t accept you. You choose each other, and that is why those who come in contact with the school have such a close bond to it. It is a bond the Joyce family wants as many students as possible to experience.” – Jeffrey J. Joyce ’83

Tiffenia D. Archie, Ph.D. ’92, vice chair of Albright’s Board of Trustees, says she owes a debt of gratitude to the college. “Albright has played such an instrumental role in my life,” she said. “My entire professional career has been the result of my Albright connections.”

The late Tchet Dorman, who was the director of multicultural affairs at Albright when Archie was a student, was one of those connections. He hired Archie for her first professional job in the Ronald McNair Faculty-in-Training program at Temple University, where she attended graduate school after earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology from Albright.

“I always was involved in what is now called social justice, even when I was a little girl, but I never knew there was a field dedicated to it,” Archie explained. “I always thought the most impactful job I could have would to be a teacher so, after graduation, I went straight to Temple University for graduate school with the goal of being a faculty member.”

The position ultimately led Archie to change her career path. “It was then that I was exposed to the world of access, equity, academic support, recruitment and retention with a particular focus on underrepresented students,” she said. “I realized I could have as great an impact outside the classroom as inside the classroom and that led me on my journey to diversity, equity and inclusion work.”

Archie’s journey brought her back to Albright in 1999 as the director of academic support, disability support and minority retention. Two years later, she was promoted to assistant academic dean, and in 2007 she returned to Temple, where she now serves as assistant vice president in the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL) and teaches courses in sociology and education.

Archie’s life would have taken a different turn, had she not received additional scholarship support when she needed it most. As a first-generation college student and the oldest of seven children, Archie funded her college education on her own. But even with scholarships, grants and working three jobs, a tuition increase in her senior year at Albright nearly cut her dreams short. Fortunately, the director of the financial aid office, where she worked, was able to find more scholarship money to help Archie complete her undergraduate studies.

“That support is one of the reasons I established an endowed scholarship to assist students with financial need,” Archie said. “I am hoping that I can help a student who, like me, needs help to get across the finish line.”
Archie established the Dr. Tiffenia D. Archie ’92 Scholarship as part of the Advancing Lives Scholarship Initiative.

“I am hoping that I can help a student who, like me, needs help to get across the finish line.” – Tiffenia D. Archie, Ph.D. ’92

Jason U. Hoerr ’08, Albright’s acting vice president for digital strategies and infrastructure and chief information officer, experienced firsthand the uphill battle students can face in attaining a college degree.

Having lost his mother when he was only four and his father when he was 14, Hoerr did not have the financial resources to persist at Albright beyond his second year. Fortunately, one thing he did have was talent in computer programming. It was a skill his father, a teacher, first introduced him to in elementary school to help him overcome mild dyslexia.

“There are no exceptions in program language,” said Hoerr. “Unlike grammar, the rules are consistent. That is a blessing to someone with dyslexia.”

After building his resume with positions as a computer coordinator in private and public K-12 education, Hoerr found his way back to Albright in 1997 — this time as a computer support specialist rather than a student. But he was soon back in the classroom, taking night classes to earn his degree while working and raising a family. More than two decades later, he now sits at the helm of the college’s information technology team.

Hoerr’s journey sparked a desire to help other Albright students who, like him, could not continue their education without financial support. But his long-held desire to establish a scholarship was stymied by the minimum requirement of $25,000 to endow such a fund. Then the Joyce Family Foundation Challenge for the Advancing Lives Scholarship Initiative was announced. In it, Hoerr saw his opportunity and decided to encourage his fellow Alumni Association board members to be part of the legacy.

With matching funds from the foundation and overwhelming support from the board to raise half the amount required by donors who take up the challenge, the Albright College Alumni Association Board Endowed Scholarship was established.

“It’s never easy to ask for money, but Jason made it about so much more than a dollar amount,” said board president “Kat” (Beihl) Crossley ’11. “He united our board to come together to do something extraordinary for our community. And the positive impact of his leadership and dedication to his Albright family will live on forever in the students who are able to reap the benefits of this scholarship.”

“I wanted students to recognize that alumni are here and supportive, and will help them graduate and be successful.” – Jason U. Hoerr ’08

Growing up, Reading native Brooke Schlott ’22 said she “constantly passed Albright and did not think twice about it.” But during her college search, she did give the college a second thought and that opened a world of opportunity to her.

“I never intended to attend a college that was five minutes away from my home, but when I toured the school I fell in love and it became my Number One,” said Schlott, a junior psychology major. “I had friends, teammates, and a boyfriend, now my fiancé, who attended Albright and they all enjoyed it, so it was a hard offer to pass up.”

So, too, was continuing her swimming career in college, even though she had planned to hang up her goggles after high school. “Once I committed to Albright, I met with the coach and decided I was not quite finished,” Schlott said. Her decision to join the women’s swimming team soon led to her involvement in other student organizations on campus.

“Without the support of my coaches, I would not be as involved as I am. Coming to a DIII school has allowed me to be involved in almost everything.”

Schlott joined the Student Athlete Advisory Committee during her first year at Albright after the former women’s swimming coach, Michael Hay, recommended her to the group. By sophomore year, she was vice president. Now she is president of the committee. She also joined Alpha Delta Pi, and today serves as the sorority’s vice president of Panhellenic relations. “These organizations have helped me become a better leader, student, athlete and friend,” Schlott said.

Opportunities also came knocking when she changed her major from secondary math education to psychology. The decision opened doors for Schlott to conduct and present research.
“I am interested in psychology research as a career, so these opportunities are huge for me,” she said.

And while Schlott credits psychology professors Gwen Seidman, Ph.D., and Julia Heberle, Ph.D., with inspiring her and guiding her career choice, she gives the ultimate credit to Albright donors.

“You [donors] are the ones who have made these opportunities a reality,” Schlott said.

“If it were not for my scholarships, I would most likely have attended another college and never had such amazing experiences. You are appreciated immensely, and I hope you know that my success is because of you.” – Brooke Schlott ’22

Raised by his grandparents, John Weik ’23 became financially independent early in life. Beginning in 2015, Weik’s grandfather had a series of strokes that forced him to retire, leaving the family to make ends meet on monthly Social Security benefits and Weik to pay for college on his own.

His plan was to attend a performing arts school in New York. But after being accepted, Weik found that the school was out of his price range. Today, he is grateful for the then-disappointing news because it brought him to Albright.

“What I knew from the beginning was that I did not want to go to a big school where I would just be a number. This is when Albright popped up on my radar,” said the Reading native who dreams of owning a dinner theater and was drawn to Albright’s co-major in theatre and business. “I went my entire life with Albright in my backyard, and I never knew that it was the place I was going to call home,” he said.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic cut short his first year on campus, Weik considers it the best year of his life. “It was the first time I got a taste of what it feels like to live away from home,” he said. Moreover, Weik found a community of students and teachers at Albright who push him toward excellence as much as he pushes himself.

“I am constantly surrounded by others who want to see me succeed and do my absolute best,” he said. “Being that Albright is small, professors get to know their students on a more personal level, focus on students’ needs and help them in ways a professor at a large university cannot do with all their students.”

The support has helped him grow, both in and outside the classroom. In short order, Weik became a Peer Orientation Person (POP) to help welcome new students to campus. He joined the Lion Diplomats to assist with alumni and donor engagement efforts, became a Sigma Alpha Epsilon brother (and its 2020–21 scholarship chair), and of course, joined the Domino Players theatre group. But as he explains, none of these opportunities would be possible without scholarship support.

“Without donors, I could not afford to go to college. They are the reason I get to be a first-generation college student. They are the reason I found my home at Albright. They are the reason for my success.” – John Weik ’23

An event that recognizes scholarship contributors, J. Warren Klein donors and 1856 Legacy Society members.

Diann Connor*†, establisher of the Erma “Ma” Gable Scholarship

Sarajean Reinert ’20, Shirk Scholar and student entertainer for the Benefactors Brunch

Sarah Kraushaar ’20, recipient of the William F. Jones ’33 Memorial Scholarship and student speaker for the 2019 Benefactors Brunch

Jane Masters Nase*†, establisher of the Dr. Paul Kenneth Nase ’55 Premedical Award and supporter of the Veerah J. Masters Memorial Scholarship and James Kurtz ’63*

Tyler Brown ’22, recipient of the Dorothea Lang ’56 Scholarship and the Dorothy Stavrides Barbera ’51 Endowed Scholarship

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82*, president and establisher of the Mildred Folk Fetrow ’58 and David E. Fetrow Scholarship

MeeAe Oh-Ranck, ACRE project mentor; Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82, president; Ashley Hillegass ’21, ACRE scholar and creator of President Fetrow’s brunch attire

Richard Oakes, guest; Faye, Kathy ’99† and Joseph Cafoncelli ’02†, contributors to the Luis D. Cafoncelli Memorial Scholarship Fund

Rev. Gene ’64† and Vivien ’64† Aulenbach; Evan Cardinal ’21, recipient of the Beard Miller Company Scholarship and the John A. Blessing Scholarship with Irvin Godboldt ’64†

Lauren Huber ’20, recipient of the Veerah J. Masters Memorial Scholarship with her benefactor Jane Masters Nase*†; Brandon Maroney ’22, recipient of the Veerah J. Masters Memorial Scholarship; Martha Good, guest

Judith (Stevenson) Albornoz, Ed.D. ’66*† and Juan Albornoz*, establisher of the Rev. D. Herbert Stevenson Memorial Annual Scholars with their scholarship recipient Nicole Crumling ’21; Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82, president; Matthew Zimmerman ’22, scholarship recipient with his benefactor Andrew Maier II*, supporter of the William E. ’31 and Ruth D. Maier Endowed Scholarship.

 

Your gifts make possible essential scholarships for our students of promise, and provide support for Albright College’s vision of being an equitable, sustainable, inclusive learning community and a leader in advancing lives in our dynamic world. Please stay safe, stay healthy and stay in touch. Contact Brian Pinto, assistant vice president of major and planned giving at 610-929-6728 or bpinto@albright.edu to learn more about these funds and ways to contribute.

*J. Warren Klein donor
†1856 Legacy Society member

Albright College appreciates the generosity of our loyal supporters.

Our three giving societies — President’s Council, 1856 Legacy Society, and the J. Warren Klein Society — were created to recognize outstanding generosity. Our societies celebrate three types of giving.
President’s Council
President’s Council recognizes alumni, parents and friends who have made cumulative gifts of $1,000 or more annually to Albright College. Through their faithful support, President’s Council members help ensure Albright’s stature as a strong liberal arts institution and play a critical role in meeting the needs of our students.

1856 Legacy Society
1856 Legacy Society embraces donors whose gifts will benefit the college in the future through estate gifts, beneficiary designations, charitable gift annuities, remainder trusts or life insurance proceeds. The society commemorates the founding of Albright College.

J. Warren Klein Society
J. Warren Klein Society distinguishes the college’s premier donors, those who have made cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more during their lifetime to support Albright. It is named for Albright’s eighth president.

All gifts from our donors sustain Albright and its students, faculty and staff, in the present and enable us to plan for a stronger and brighter future for all.