On June 25, Lock Haven University hosted a naming ceremony of its commons area and amphitheatre for businessman and philanthropist Stephen Poorman. The university’s Stephen Poorman School of Business, Information Systems, and Human Services is also named after Poorman, who in 2015 pledged more than $7 million in cash and property to the university.
“Whether it’s a scholarship or a long-term estate pledge, we all have a responsibility to help Lock Haven University, our community, and these young people,” Poorman said.
Poorman cited recent challenges being placed on state institutions of higher education like stagnant populations, declining enrollment, and rising costs as the reason why he and his wife, Pamela, decided to give back to Lock Haven University and the city of Lock Haven.
He read multiple thank you letters he recently received from LHU students who were the recipients of scholarships funded by his donations to the university and concluded by saying, “There’s a reward. We love it. We so much enjoy getting these letters from students. I read them over and over.”
“The word ‘commons’ speaks to ‘life together,’ ” said Dr. Donna Wilson, LHU interim president. “Having a place to be together is an important part of continuing that great tradition at Lock Haven University. The Poorman Commons and the Poorman Amphitheatre will be an important way of doing that.”
Poorman Commons and Poorman Amphitheatre serve as communal spaces not only for LHU students, but also as a gateway for the university to host events for the residents of Lock Haven.
“I’ve been on every campus in the state system and I’m not sure there is a more beautiful spot anywhere else,” said Carl Poff, LHU Foundation executive director. “To have it named after the Poormans is particularly special.”
“Look around at this new center of campus. Look at the Carillon with its 23 bells. You are standing in the most beautiful part of the city,” Poorman said.
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Lock Haven University is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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