Scholarship Luncheon Celebrates Impact

Students gathered on the steps of Carver Hall for a group photo and to send a message to donors expressing their gratitude.

“Without your support, the young men and women who are sitting with you at your tables would not be able to realize their dreams of earning a Bloomsburg University Degree.”

BU president Bashar W. Hanna speaking to donors at the 2022 Scholarship Luncheon

That was the powerful message BU president Bashar Hanna delivered when he addressed 260 donors, students, and friends who attended the 2022 Bloomsburg University Foundation Scholarship Luncheon.

“Your gifts transform lives,” president Hanna added. “There is no greater impact you can make on our campus community than through scholarship support.”

This year marked the first time BU donors were able to return to campus to meet their recipients since 2019 due to safety precautions and regulations related to COVID 19 protocols. Donors who attend the luncheon each year were excited to return, as they take a personal interest in carrying on the tradition and increasing the impact of philanthropic support for BU students.

The Kehr Union Ballroom was alive and buzzing with attendees and donors to celebrate the impact of philanthropy at BU.

Speakers at the luncheon reflected on the difference that scholarships make for the Bloomsburg University community. The BU Foundation has awarded $2.8 million in undergraduate financial aid and scholarships in 2021-22.

As of April 30, 2022, The BU Foundation has distributed more than $2.8 million in direct scholarship support to BU students, thanks to the generosity of our donors.

Scholarship donor Christen Mowad, M.D. was the luncheon’s benefactor speaker.

2022 Scholarship Luncheon benefactor speaker Christen Mowad, M.D. addressing the audience

“The people at Bloomsburg care about each other,” Dr. Mowad said. “And they care deeply about providing the very best for their students.”

Dr. Mowad serves on the BU Foundation Board of Directors and in many other volunteer roles. Her philanthropy is inspired by her father, Joseph Mowad, M.D.’s long history of supporting BU students and carrying on his legacy here in Bloomsburg.

In addition to named scholarship donors and their recipients, this year, for the first time, the Foundation also extended an invitation to a select group of loyal donors who support student scholarships by making their annual gift to the Bloom On Fund.

These donors are part of a large group of alumni and friends who have an impact on students’ success each year, but don’t get to directly experience that impact on a personal level. In the year, the Bloom On Fund supported 117 student scholarships totaling more than $282,000 in immediate-use support.

Pictured above are Bloom On Fund Donors Liz Hernandez '20 and Ed Ramos '85 (also in attendance but not pictured was Elizabeth Swivel '84)

“Collectively, the Bloom On Fund is the single largest supporter of student scholarships each year,” said BU Foundation executive director Jerome Dvorak. “Every gift and every donor counts. Inviting a few loyal annual donors to represent the many donors who support it by connecting them with students impacted by the fund was just one way to help them see the powerful difference annual gifts make.”

The event ended on a very high note with an invigorating speech from our student recipient speaker Luna Alexander ’23. Luna is a communications studies major from Wellsboro, PA, who is involved in many activities and is a heavily engaged member of the BU student community. She attributes her ability to be so active and successful on campus largely to the support she has received from donors.

Luna Alexander '23 was honored to serve as the student recipient speaker.

“As I prepare to enter my senior year at college, I cannot hold back my appreciation for everything that Bloomsburg University has done for me,” Luna said. “More importantly, I cannot express my appreciation for the support and encouragement that my donors have given me. You have not only supported me financially but also through your example of dedicating your life to doing good for others.”

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