November 2, 2022

President’s Circle Honorees Demonstrate Philanthropic Leadership at WCU

Pictured with President Chris Fiorentino (L) and Sue Fiorentino (far R) are those who were honored with this year’s President’s Award (L-R): Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, a charitable, private foundation founded in 2011, and vice president of community affairs at Independence Blue Cross; Carol L. Kashow ’77; John W. Ward, retired faculty, and Celia C. Esplugas, emerita professor of languages and cultures; and Scott W. Reid ’96.On October 27, West Chester University recognized those who are members of the President’s Circle: those committed to advancing student success at WCU through their philanthropic leadership.

The President’s Circle comprises dedicated alumni, parents and family members, friends, faculty, staff, and community partners whose commitment to the University drives student success now and provides a strong foundation for the University’s future. President’s Circle members belong to three unique philanthropic leadership societies: the Carillon Society, the Heritage Society, and Community Partners.

“Each year, the President’s Circle Ceremony gives us the opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary individuals and community partners whose generosity is making direct, impactful differences in the lives of our students,” said WCU President Christopher Fiorentino. “Those who donate annually as members of our Carillon Society, have achieved lifetime giving milestones as members of our Heritage Society, or are recognized as President’s Award Honorees. Our students, and more than 124,000 of their graduated peers, are going to change the world, and these people help them get there.”

Deb Cornelius ’91, interim executive director of the WCU Foundation, added, “Our students make difficult choices every day on this campus: they juggle jobs, full course loads, and personal responsibilities – our donors know this. Their passion for the well-being of our students is reflected in their support of scholarships, educational opportunities, enhanced program experiences, and leading-edge technologies – they step up, and as many of us are fellow Golden Rams, we pay it forward, and help set our students up for success.”

The event honored the 2022 President’s Award Honorees: Carol L. Kashow ’77; Celia C. Esplugas, emerita professor of languages and cultures; John W. Ward, retired faculty; Scott W. Reid ’96; and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation.

Lorina Marshall-Blake is President of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (the Foundation), a charitable, private foundation founded in 2011, and also Vice President of Community Affairs at Independence Blue Cross (Independence). In her role with the Foundation, she leads strategic, programmatic, and operational efforts to fulfill the Foundation’s mission to lead sustainable solutions that improve the health and wellness of the community. Under her leadership, the Foundation has established itself as a collaborator, innovator, and thought leader in addressing emerging health needs in southeastern Pennsylvania. As Vice President of Community Affairs, Marshall-Blake develops and manages relationships with community partners to advance Independence’s social mission efforts.

Marshall-Blake noted, “At our Foundation, we believe nurses are the glue for our healthcare system. With our support of nursing education, and our collaboration with nursing schools such as West Chester University, we’ve aimed to address not only a nursing shortage, but also the inequities that plague healthcare.”

Originally created in 2000 as The Fund for West Chester University, the West Chester University Foundation is a PASSHE-approved, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The West Chester University Foundation engages donors and other partners to drive student success, securing funding that helps WCU students achieve more.

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