Morning Ceremony (10:00am)
Bill Jolly is a three-time Emmy Award winning composer/arranger/musical director and keyboardist. He's been recognized twice in Keyboard Magazine and has composed music for HBO, MTV, NBC, ABC, CBS, Showtime, and Columbia Tri-Star. He is a WCU alum and has received the WCU Distinguished Alumni Award.
Afternoon Ceremony (1:30pm)
Heidi Hamels is a 2007 graduate of West Chester University having earned a Master's Degree in Secondary Education. She is currently working to complete her Ph.D. Ms. Hamels has gained international recognition for her efforts to improve educational opportunities both in the US and Malawi.
Following Ms. Hamels marriage to Cole Hamels in 2006, the couple spent their honeymoon traveling in Africa. Their experience inspired them to do something pro-active to help the impoverished people, and most specifically the children, they encountered on their trip. The Hamels Foundation was created and co-founded by the Hamels in 2008 and is dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the power of education by giving them the tools they need to achieve their goals. The Hamels Foundation has a dual purpose to provide support for quality education in the United States and to establish a school in Malawi, Africa. The Hamels Foundation takes a community-based approach to education by providing assistance to schools as well as supporting other education-based nonprofit entities in the United States in need of support. This includes, but is not limited to, providing stimulating learning environments, high-quality educational programs, and necessary provisions to promote learning.
In a recent Philadelphia Magazine article by Richard Rys, Todd Schafer, CEO of the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance, which has partnered with the Hamels Foundation, described Ms. Hamels' level of involvement as rare. "Celebrities want to parachute in the money without getting their hands dirty," he said. "Heidi loves to get her hands dirty. She's bubbling over with enthusiasm and has no hesitation in declaring what she doesn't know."