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LHU News

Lock Haven University Foundation Celebrates Donor Generosity and Student Success with 9th Annual Scholarship Brunch

Norm Award


More than 130 donors and scholarship recipients recently attended the Lock Haven University Foundation's ninth annual James C. Reeser Scholarship Brunch. The brunch is an annual celebration of donor generosity and student success at Commonwealth University-Lock Haven.

The event provides donors the chance to see the impact their giving has on students - along with allowing students the opportunity to thank donors for their commitment to helping them soar higher. Each year, two awards are presented: the Wagner Lock Haven University Achievement Award and the Philanthropy Award.

Established by Donn '66 and Mary Ann Zaffuto Wagner '69, 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 Norm Gordon, a 1973 Lock Haven State College graduate.

"I've seen first-hand just how much financial support means to LHU students," Gordon said. "I truly hope my support will help provide a similar experience for current and future student-athletes to the one that I had at The Haven."

Since 2018, Gordon has served on the Lock Haven University Alumni Association board of directors. Over that time, his passion and commitment to the university and Lock Haven students has been on full display, culminating earlier this year when he established two scholarships: The Norm Gordon Track & Field Scholarship and the Norm Gordon Track & Field Endowment.

"LHU is a great small environment, where students can form impactful relationships that will last a lifetime," he added. "Lock Haven grads are proof that small colleges generate quality individuals prepared for great success in all sectors of business."

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

This year's recipient of the Philanthropy Award was Dr. Paula "Sandy" Bell, Lock Haven professor emerita.

Bell became the first female faculty member in Lock Haven's computer science department in 1988, where she served for 20 years. Since retiring, Bell has continued to impact Lock Haven students through various forms of philanthropic support.

Bell was unable to attend this year's brunch due to previously scheduled travel plans. However, in 2018, following the establishment of one of her scholarships, she said, "I want students to know that people do care. I want them to continue pushing. I want them to succeed. I want them to know that the sky is the limit."

Bell is especially passionate about supporting computer science, health science, and ROTC students. Throughout the years, she has established numerous student scholarships, including the Paula F. Bell Women in Technology Scholarship, the Bald Eagle Battalion ROTC Scholarship, and two additional ROTC scholarships. She also contributes annually to The Haven's All In Day of Giving in the form of substantial monetary donations that the LHU Foundation uses to leverage challenges that encourage alumni, faculty, and donors to provide additional support for Lock Haven students.

"If you can help other people, then you should. It feels good to be able to make a difference," she added.

"I would like to thank each of our donors for the meaningful impact their generosity has on our students, especially Norm and Dr. Bell for their willingness to go above and beyond to make a difference at The Haven," said Bashar W. Hanna, president.

"Congratulations also to all of our student scholarship recipients, their dedication to academic excellence is commendable and I wish them well in the achievement of their future goals," he added.

During the 2021-22 academic year, 461 scholarships were awarded by the LHU Foundation to 360 students, totaling nearly $676,000. For more information on the Lock Haven University Foundation or to make a gift to support Lock Haven students, visit

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