It’s been stated that a college degree can change the future of that graduate and their family for decades to come.
First-generation college graduate, Don Calcagni, is a real-life example of that statement. Calcagni graduated from Lock Haven University (LHU) in 1998 with degrees in history and international studies, along with minors in economics and Spanish. Fast forward 24 years, and Calcagni is the Chief Investment Officer and partner for the wealth management firm, Mercer Advisors.
Now as a member of the Lock Haven University Foundation board of directors he hopes to impact the lives of students and future generations.
Calcagni’s volunteer service to the university began in July 2021, when he was elected to the LHU Alumni Association board of directors. However, with a professional resume boasting nearly a quarter century of financial management experience and more than 70 corporate acquisitions and mergers under his belt, he transitioned to the LHUF board of directors in June.
His hopes were that his experience and professional expertise in corporate finance, portfolio management, and change management would positively impact the LHUF’s operations as Lock Haven integrated with Bloomsburg and Mansfield universities to form Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania.
“Since joining the LHUF board of directors, I have been impressed with the commitment demonstrated by each board member to make the Lock Haven campus a better place for faculty and students,” Calcagni said. “Our LHUF chairperson, Jen Riter ’96, has a powerful and motivational vision for the future of the foundation.”
Calcagni would like to see the foundation’s board members become more intertwined with Lock Haven’s culture by engaging directly with faculty and students through classroom initiatives and other on-campus events.
“I’m excited for opportunities to connect with students who are interested in pursuing careers in business, especially finance,” Calcagni said. “My longer term vision is to help the Foundation establish a student-run investment fund, or to find strategic opportunities to partner with other universities, where students can learn how to manage real-world portfolios.”
“First-generation alumni like Don are a testament to the way state-supported universities like Lock Haven can truly change someone’s life,” said Bashar W. Hanna, Commonwealth University president. “I thank Don for his commitment to paying it forward to the next generation of Bald Eagles and applaud his vision for helping business students gain real-world insight into financial management.”
Along with his volunteer service to the university, Calcagni is also a foundation donor. He is especially passionate about supporting students in need of tuition assistance, tutoring services, and helping them combat food insecurity. He believes retaining students is essential, not only for the vibrancy of the university, but to ensure all students overcome obstacles on their way to graduating and achieving their professional goals.
“I believe that each of us has a responsibility to give back so that future generations can not only have the same educational opportunities that we had, but so that they’re equipped with the intellectual tools they need to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges,” Calcagni said.
“Every LHU graduate is a direct beneficiary of Lock Haven University. We’ve succeeded professionally because of our time at The Haven and the wonderful faculty, staff, advisors, and peers that cared enough to invest their time and talents into each of us,” he added. “I’m a firm believer that it’s now our time to pay it forward to the next generation. The Haven needs us now more than ever.”
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