BU Foundation Honors Donors at Scholarship Luncheon

More than 150 scholarship donors returned to campus recently to celebrate the impact of their support and meet with their scholarship recipients at the Annual Bloomsburg University Foundation Scholarship Luncheon. Each year, the foundation hosts the luncheon not only to give the donors the opportunity to learn more about their recipients, but also to help the students who are receiving these life-changing gifts understand where they come from and why their donors choose to give back.

University president Bashar Hanna speaking to donors at the 2023 Scholarship Luncheon.

University president Bashar Hanna addressed the donors, students, and friends in attendance and shared his gratitude for their support while also delivering a very powerful message on the history of funding from the state.

“When our state system of Higher Education was created in 1983, 65% of our budget came from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” president Hanna said. “Fast forward to 2022 - we get 30% of our budget to the commonwealth, and we have to find the other 70% in order to keep the high quality education at Bloomsburg affordable for our students. Our donors have allowed us to keep that education affordable and there are not words that can capture how grateful we are for each and every one of you.”

Susan McDowell (pictured at right) with the recipient of her scholarship.

Thanks to support from donors, t
he Bloomsburg University Foundation’s endowment has increased direct scholarship support to BU by more than 175%. This year alone, BUF will award just over $3M in immediate-use scholarship support.

Scholarship donor and BU alumnus Lamar Oglesby, '07 was the luncheon’s benefactor speaker.

Lamar Oglesby '07 benefactor speaker at the 2023 Scholarship Luncheon.

“We've always been proud and excited to support our Huskies. In fact, I'll go so far to say that we treated it like our duty,” Oglesby said. “Because their success is our success, right? There are so many who can benefit from your story, your experiences your time, and your resources on whatever journey that their on.”

Oglesby serves on the BU Alumni Association Board of Directors and in many other volunteer roles. He has always been an active volunteer, but began his philanthropic support at Bloomsburg in 2016 when he and his wife, Dominika, made their first gift to establish a scholarship.

Also joining the festivities this year was Don Messimer ‘70, ‘73M, who returned for the second time to help entertain attendees by providing a beautiful rendition of Bloomsburg's alma mater and a few other tunes on the piano in the Kehr Union Ballroom.

Don Messimer '70, '73M playing piano for the crowd

The event ended as always with a speech from our student recipient speaker. This year's student speaker was Alysia "Leesy" Kraus '25. Leesy is a double major in Nursing and Spanish from Hanover, PA, who is also a member of the Field Hockey team.

Leesy Kraus '25, delivering her speech and sharing her appreciation with donors.

“Having a scholarship gives me motivation to continue to push myself like picking up an extra major, because I have the time to do so, said Kraus. “It allows me to have the time to pursue a double major because I can work less during the semester. I can't thank the Camplese family, enough, especially Kay, for creating the BEST Scholarship and supporting female athletes throughout their college education.”

Click here to see more great photos from this year's Scholarship Luncheon.