October 21, 2016
$250,000 Gift Received to Name Multicultural Center & Increase Opportunities for Students of Color
Homecoming weekend is the perfect occasion to celebrate the naming of the Lawrence A. Dowdy Multicultural Center, as Larry Dowdy ’73 M’80 and many WCU alumni and friends return to WCU today in his honor. Thanks to a generous $250,000 gift from Student Services, Incorporated (SSI), West Chester University’s multicultural center will be dedicated the Lawrence A. Dowdy Multicultural Center Friday, October 21, 4-5:30 p.m. in the Sykes Student Union on campus.
According to University officials, the gift from Student Services Incorporated is the largest WCU has received to support programs for students from diverse backgrounds. Dowdy and his wife, Meryl, will be joined in the ribbon-cutting ceremony by Interim President Christopher Fiorentino, Bernie Carrozza, chair of the Board of Directors of Student Services Incorporated (SSI), Donna Snyder, executive director of SSI, and Jerome ‘Skip’ Hutson, director of the multicultural center.
SSI’s gift will create an endowment to provide permanent resources to expand current programs and launch new initiatives, including increased student access to leadership conferences, study abroad opportunities for multicultural students, educational and professional development travel, a diversity ambassador program, as well as visiting lecturers.
To enhance the endowment contributed by SSI even further, Dowdy and his wife, Meryl, made a $25,000 pledge to the Lawrence A. Dowdy Multicultural Center Endowment. Friends and family members followed suit with an additional $50,000 designated toward the project. The total commitment to the endowment is now more than $325,000.
Recognizing the importance of expanding the multicultural center’s resources to serve students, the SSI Board of Directors was excited to invest in recognizing Dowdy’s service and dream. "Through his actions and words, Larry continues to set an example for all of us to follow," says Dr. Bernie Carrozza, chair of the Board of Directors of SSI and a long-time former member and chair of the WCU Council of Trustees. "His willingness to make a significant difference in student'’ lives is testament to his character, generosity and ability to inspire a generation of future leaders."
The University welcomes being able to help students excel through meaningful and engaging programs. Interim President Christopher Fiorentino stated, "Thanks to this remarkable gift from SSI and the support of other donors, including the Dowdy family, we will be able to offer new opportunities for our students to prepare for their success."
Student Services, Incorporated (SSI) is a not-for-profit organization designed to serve the students of West Chester University. The objective of the corporation is to initiate, regulate, and operate the financial matters of the University’s co-curricular student activities.