Living the Dream: Campaign Exceeds Expectations

Goal: $45 million
Campaign Total: $69,010,914

When Charting the Course, Lighting the Way the Campaign for Shippensburg University kicked off in 2012, the SU Foundation asked the Shippensburg community to dream big—and you certainly did. In fact, the dreams of alumni, friends, parents, businesses, corporations, and foundations were so grand that your generosity shattered the campaign goal, generating more than 150 percent of the initial goal. Your financial commitments have, and will continue to, light the way for generations of students. Thanks to your help, they will have the support and opportunities needed to take on leadership roles locally and around the world upon graduation.

We celebrate the generosity of hundreds of benefactors who believed in the dream, invested in the campaign initiatives, and in doing so, have taken the university to the next level of greatness.
— Dr. Jody Harpster '74M, president

“This comprehensive campaign, like none other before, has taken a leap into the future in terms of what it has accomplished for the people, programs, and places at Shippensburg University,” said Dr. Jody Harpster ’74m, president. “From the start, the $45 million goal was ambitious—the highest attempted in Ship’s history—but the need was great. And yes, it was a dream before it was a reality. But $69 million dollars in cash and planned gift commitments sounds pretty real to me.”

During a celebration officially closing the campaign in April, Harpster thanked all those involved. “We celebrate the generosity of hundreds of benefactors who believed in the dream, invested in the campaign initiatives, and in doing so, have taken the university to the next level of greatness. Together, we have made history, and for that, you have my sincerest gratitude.”

John E. Clinton, president and CEO of the SU Foundation, said the campaign benefited from outstanding volunteer leadership who led by example. “This leadership started at the top with our National Campaign Co-chairs, alumni Gary and Mary Jo Grove. From day one, we could not have had two harder working people. Their generosity of financial resources and generosity of spirit got the campaign off to a great start and continued right to the end.”

The Groves said they didn’t skip a beat when asked to chair the campaign. “Shippensburg University has given us so much over the years—a wonderful education, a great foundation for successful careers, a supportive and loving network of friends, and a long and happy marriage.

Throughout the campaign, we have heard so many stories and testaments to the outstanding education, the caring faculty, and the bonds of friendship that have lasted over the decades.” They were impressed with the time, talent, and treasure offered by the campaign’s 181 volunteers.

These efforts and your donations are already changing the lives of students and impacting the future of Shippensburg University.



Goal: $20 million
Raised: $42,502,953

A scholarship is more than an honor to students at Shippensburg—in many cases, it’s a game changer. The more than $14.6 million given to support scholarships through the campaign creates opportunities for students to succeed and stand out as they continue their education or start a career.

Luke Perry '14

Luke Perry '14

For Luke Perry ’14, it provided peace of mind. “Receiving scholarships, it’s a huge honor. Any little boost really helps; it makes a difference.”

Having studied biology with a pre-med concentration at Ship, Perry is determined to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. Receiving the senior biology award was one step toward achieving that dream. “It allowed me to focus more on my schooling and research, and less on the money I was paying for college.”

Perry spent two-and-a-half-years completing undergraduate research that helped to prepare him for medical school. It also provided him with more time to get involved in campus life by serving on Student Senate, founding Phi Sigma Kappa, and participating in the TriBeta National Biological Honor Society. Perry is now studying to become a doctor at Edward via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)-Virginia, and plans to become a surgeon.

Jorge Santiago '16

Jorge Santiago '16

Jorge Santiago ’16, a finance major, said he also benefited from alumni contributions through the SU Foundation. A member of the selective and hands-on Investment Management Program through the John L. Grove College of Business, Santiago worked with classmates to manage the Wisman Fund, a real-dollar investment portfolio named for benefactor Frank Wisman. The fund, which is overseen by the SU Foundation, creates a real-life, high-impact learning opportunity for seniors, as well as scholarships for academically talented finance majors.

Because of this unique experience, Santiago secured a job months before graduation. “I wanted to go into a career in investment management. Highlighting this class on my resume got me the job at Vanguard.”

Funding from the SU Foundation enhances student life through other opportunities
such as international experience. “When you’re outside of the classroom, you see some of the great wonders of the world versus reading about them,” said Mary Burnett, director of International Programs.

Cost often is the barrier that deters students from study abroad, she said. “If finances are less of a concern, that’s one less thing for students to worry about.”

Dr. James Pope, former dean of Grove College, wants to change that with his campaign contribution earmarked for international experience for business students. While dean, he worked with Dr. Anthony Winter, associate dean of Grove College, to establish an exchange program for business students at Aarhus University School of Business in Denmark. “By taking away some of the reasons to say no, maybe we can facilitate that experience,” he said. “It really is a transformative experience and gives you a different perspective of things.”

Isabel Scott '13 learned about international business practices firsthand when she traveled to Shanghai, China, with her class.

Isabel Scott '13 learned about international business practices firsthand when she traveled to Shanghai, China,
with her class.

The class definitely gave me a new perspective on how business is done internationally. It also made me realize and understand another culture that is drastically different from the US.
— Isabel Scott '13

Isabel Scott ’13 had the opportunity to study in Shanghai, China, with one of her business classes. Scott, who majored in finance and management, said they learned about Chinese business practices, spent time with Chinese entrepreneurs, and traveled within Shanghai, Beijing, and Suzhou. “The class definitely gave me a new perspective on how business is done internationally. It also made me realize and understand another culture that is drastically different from the US,” she said.

Now in the Finance Leadership Development Program at Lockheed Martin, Scott said her experience in China has helped her understand cultural business differences and the needs of international clients.

For senior James Landron, available funding made his study abroad affordable and opened the doors to a new vocation.

Senior James Landron (left) and Jorge Santiago '16 took local cooking classes while studying abroad in Barcelona.

Senior James Landron (left) and Jorge Santiago '16 took local cooking classes while studying abroad in Barcelona.

Landron studied in Barcelona for the fall 2014 semester with then-roommate Santiago. The opportunity allowed them to explore new cultures and relationships in seven countries. It also inspired Landron to change his major upon his return from history education to political science with an international studies minor. His hope is to give back to the community through a political lens.

“This is so beneficial and, at such a young age, makes an impact on your life,” he said. “It gives you more of an appreciation for life.”



Goal: $7.5 million
Raised: $6,292,567

At an institution with roots in teacher education, Dr. Carol Wellington, professor and chair of the Computer Science Department, is often asked why she conducts joint undergraduate student/faculty research. She responds, “Research is teaching.”

“Undergraduate research lets us engage the student one-on-one. It gives us the ability to teach them content and develop a higher order of thinking.”

Wellington joined the faculty at Ship twenty years ago and has completed research with dozens of students. Joint research creates a mentorship between faculty and student, she explained. Students learn to develop a project from beginning to end, explore their topic, and write up their findings for presentations, papers, or conferences. “Whether they go to grad school or into the industry, this experience distinguishes them from other students,” she said.

Tyler Garrett '16 (right) designs parts for a research project with classmates Chris Jeffery '16 (left) and David Kinna '16.

Tyler Garrett '16 (right) designs parts for a research project with classmates Chris Jeffery '16 (left) and David Kinna '16.

Tyler Garrett ’16 dedicated two years to undergraduate research. He worked with fellow computer engineering major David Kinna ’16 and physics major Chris Jeffery ’16 on a project that can change the way researchers gather information on global warming and sea level change at NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility. By using a 3-D printer on campus, they developed environmental data sensors that provided a more efficient and cost effective way to observe climate change data in real time.

“Wallops Island has one of the quickest rising sea levels in the world,” Garrett said. “We figured if we go there, we could get some of the best information possible.” A network of sensors has the ability to relay information to a central computer system in real time, he said.

The students presented their research at SU’s Minds@Work Conference in April as well as at conferences in Kutztown and Massachusetts. Garrett also represented Ship with this research project during Advocacy Days at the State Capitol in Harrisburg this year. He said the research and conference experience helped to prepare him for graduate school.

“When a student walks into my office and is excited about research, we’re able to fund it,” Wellington said. “There’s always a set of students who come in with this interest, and Foundation funds help them to pursue it.”

Charles H. Diller Jr.

Charles H. Diller Jr.

Donations through the SU Foundation also will aid aspiring entrepreneurs through the Charles H. Jr. and Jane E. Diller Endowment that will help to fund the Charles H. Diller Jr. Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation. Diller has been associated with Shippensburg University and the John L. Grove College of Business—his former boss’ namesake—since joining the Grove College Advisory Board in the late 1970s.

Diller, former EVP, CFO, and director of JLG Industries, and his wife already support a full-tuition scholarship through Grove College and now will support the center through a provision in his will.

“We love the university,” he said. “I think it’s a great institution, it’s well run, it’s well staffed, and it stands out as one of the best institutions in the region.”

Diller said the center will complement the university’s newly established entrepreneurship major and minor, which will be offered to students this fall. It also will provide additional resources by funding student competitions, lectures, joint undergraduate student/faculty research, entrepreneurial mentorship, seminars, conferences, and other opportunities.

His hope is that the center will act as an incubator for new businesses.

Dr. John Kooti, dean of Grove College, said, the center will benefit students campuswide in their understanding and application of entrepreneurship. “Students will have progressively more challenging educational activities, experiences that will enable them to develop the insight needed to discover and create entrepreneurial opportunities, and the expertise to successfully start and manage their own businesses to take advantage of these opportunities.”

According to Kooti, the entrepreneurial spirit is key to our country’s economic health, a spirit that John L. Grove certainly embodied and exhibited. “It is with this program that we want to build on the John L. Grove legacy and offer a comprehensive, signature program in entrepreneurship. Our outreach and impact would expand from being an anchor of south-central
Pennsylvania’s economy to being an engine of economic development for the region.”



Goal: $2.5 million
Raised: $3,421,025

Stewart Hall Book photo.jpg

If walls could talk, SU’s historic Stewart Hall would have quite an entertaining story to tell. Originally constructed as a state-of-the-art gymnasium in 1894, the structure has acted as a dormitory, academic building, lounge, activity center, offices, and children’s theatre. Tales shared by alumni detail dances in the gym, fraternity traditions down the front stairs, and pickup basketball games during downtime. It’s only appropriate that The Campaign for Stewart Hall will launch a new chapter for this beloved space as the future home of the Alumni Relations Office.

At the campaign celebration, President Harpster announced that coupled with the more than $1.4 million raised for restoration of the historic quad by the SU Foundation, the university’s Council of Trustees approved additional funding to move forward with the Stewart Hall project in the immediate future. This effort was made possible, in large part, because of the generous challenge gifts of alumni.

Having met as students at then-Shippensburg State Teachers College, Dr. Gary ’68-’70m and Mary Jo ’69-’70m Grove said that Stewart Hall played a significant part in their daily lives, where their lifelong partnership grew. They kicked off the campaign with a $500,000 challenge gift. Shortly after, James ’53 and Bertha ’52 Feather provided a second challenge, matching all gifts dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 from the classes of ’52, ’54, and ’78, the latter of which is the class year of their oldest daughter, Cythia Feather Scullion.

Plans for Stewart Hall include the relocation of SU’s Alumni Relations Office from the Rife House on Prince Street, an exhibition gallery, and a promenade on Stewart Hall’s elevated track that will showcase Ship’s collection of alumni memorabilia.

To commemorate its rich history, the SU Foundation published Meet Me at Stewart Hall: History and Memories of Shippensburg University’s Historic Stewart Hall, which debuted during the campaign celebration. Compiled by Dr. Steven Burg, professor and chair of the History and Philosophy Department, through a joint undergraduate student/faculty research project, the book preserves the memories and records the history established in Stewart Hall. Both graduate and undergraduate students worked on the project, conducting twenty-four oral histories from alumni, retired faculty, and others who are included in the book.

This is a must-read for anyone who spent time playing, learning, socializing, and starting relationships in Stewart Hall. Books can be purchased at the SU Bookstore during regular business hours or by calling (717) 477-1600; a limited number of books have been signed by Burg.


More than 1,000 bricks have been gifted to create a Pathway Home leading to Stewart Hall. There is still time to gift a brick. Visit, and click on the bricks