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LHU News

Lock Haven University celebrates donor generosity and student success with eighth annual James C. Reeser Scholarship Brunch

Scholarship Brunch

Junior scholarship recipient Ryan Miller, TKE Alumni Scholarship representative Kurt Smith '76,  and other spectators look on during the James C. Reeser Scholarship Brunch on Sept. 26.

On Sept. 26, more than 90 donors and scholarship recipients attended Lock Haven University’s eighth annual James C. Reeser Scholarship Brunch. The brunch, held in the Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center, is a commemoration of donor generosity and student success at Lock Haven University.

Not only does the event provide donors the chance to see the impact their giving has on students — along with giving students the opportunity to thank donors for their commitment to helping them soar higher — but each year, two awards are also presented: the Wagner Lock Haven University Achievement Award and the Philanthropy Award.

Established by Donn and Mary Ann Zaffuto Wagner, the Wagner Award honors an individual or individuals whose extraordinary and genuine efforts come from the heart, and whose accomplishments have impacted others in a positive way.

This year’s recipient of the Wagner Award was professor emerita Dr. Beth McMahon. 

McMahon was a professor in LHU’s Department of Health Science for 22 years before retiring in 2019. Just a few months later, she found herself back at The Haven, serving as LHU COVID coordinator and overseeing the university’s COVID-19 Institutional Response Team (IRT).

Under McMahon’s leadership from August 2020 to June 2021, LHU was a model of success, as McMahon and the students, faculty and staff that formed the university’s IRT developed and implemented mitigation strategies to help keep The Haven community safe from COVID.

In addition to overseeing the IRT, McMahon — along with physician assistant program director Anna Mae Smith, chief administration & finance officer Deana Hill, and LHU students McCartney Register and Luke Kreider — was responsible for establishing the Be the Solution Award.

The award aims to engage LHU students into taking social responsibility to develop creative solutions to complicated problems and ultimately better the world in which they live. McMahon pledged to match the first $5,000 in contributions to the Be the Solution Award with a $5,000 donation of her own.

The Philanthropy award goes to an individual or individuals that have shown outstanding civic responsibility by voluntarily committing their time and financial resources to advance the philanthropic mission of Lock Haven University.

This year’s recipient of the Philanthropy Award was Lock Haven University’s corporate partner, the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU). 

For the past 22 years, PSECU has been a philanthropic supporter of Lock Haven University. Along with providing an array of low- or no-cost banking services and financial education resources to Lock Haven University students, staff, faculty and alumni, PSECU has also provided countless scholarships to Lock Haven University students throughout the years.

The PSECU Student Athlete Scholarship awards up to $20,000 per year to multiple student athletes that compete on PSECU Court at Thomas Fieldhouse. The court was renamed PSECU Court in 2014.

PSECU also sponsors numerous events like the LHU Business Hall of Fame, the LHU Athletics Hall of Fame, various athletic and academic events throughout the year, and Homecoming events like the Alumni Golf Classic, among others. PSECU is also a major sponsor of All In, LHU’s 24-hour day of giving.

The Philanthropy Award was accepted on PSECU’s behalf by employees Chris Rhine, Tiffany Bowmaster and Dave Dentler.

“It’s the sincere appreciation from students and the joy on donors’ faces that truly makes this event one of our most special days on campus each year,” said Katelynn Hanna, Director of Annual Giving & Stewardship. “Our donors don’t give because they want the recognition, but this event is still the university’s way of recognizing their impact they make and telling them ‘Thank you’ for playing such a pivotal role in positive student outcomes at Lock Haven University.”

For the 2021-2022 school year, 580 scholarships have been awarded to 511 LHU students, totaling nearly $713,000.  For more information on the Lock Haven University Foundation or to make a gift to Lock Haven University, visit



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Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center
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(570) 484-2586

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