$325K pledged to mul­ti­cul­tural cen­ter

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Farence afarence@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @afarence on Twit­ter To con­tact Daily Lo­cal News staff writer Adam Farence, email afarence@dai­ly­lo­cal.com, or call 610235-2647.

West Ch­ester Uni­ver­sity re­ceived the largest mon­e­tary con­tri­bu­tion to its mul­ti­cul­tural pro­gram.

WEST CH­ESTER >> West Ch­ester Uni­ver­sity re­ceived what of­fi­cials de­scribed as the largest mon­e­tary con­tri­bu­tion to their mul­ti­cul­tural pro­gram Fri­day, where the rib­bon was cut on the newly ded­i­cated Lawrence A. Dowdy Mul­ti­cul­tural Cen­ter.

The newly named cen­ter is meant to honor Lawrence “Larry” Dowdy, a uni­ver­sity ad­min­is­tra­tor who re­ceived both his bach­e­lor’s and master’s de­gree from West Ch­ester Uni­ver­sity.

Dowdy re­tired from the uni­ver­sity in De­cem­ber of 2014 as the ex­ec­u­tive deputy to the pres­i­dent, and in the words of In­terim Pres­i­dent Christo­pher Fiorentino, was a “cham­pion of the un­der­rep­re­sented stu­dents.”

Dowdy said the $325,000 en­dow­ment was meant to re­in­force legacy of di­ver­sity and stu­dent lead­er­ship at West Ch­ester Uni­ver­sity.

“I am hum­bled to be given such an honor,” he said.

Stu­dent Ser­vices In­cor­po­rated (SSI), a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that helps sup­port stu­dent pro­grams at West Ch­ester Uni­ver­sity, con­trib­uted $250,000 of the $325,000 en­dow­ment to the Of­fice of Mul­ti­cul­tural Af­fairs.

“We sup­port stu­dents how­ever we can,” said SSI Di­rec­tor Donna Sny­der. “It was an ex­cit­ing event and we’re happy to help.”

Dowdy and his wife, Meryl, pledged an ad­di­tional $25,000. Other fam­ily and friends do­nated a to­tal of $50,000, bring­ing the grand to­tal of the en­dow­ment to $325,000.

Dowdy said he hopes the en­dow­ment will help the Of­fice of Mul­ti­cul­tural Af­fairs do three things; pro­vide lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for mul­ti­cul­tural stu­dents, pro­vide sym­po­siums for all stu­dents to ex­plore is­sues of di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion, and to ex­plore con­cepts of lead­er­ship that serve the greater good.

Jerome Hut­son, di­rec­tor of the mul­ti­cul­tural cen­ter, like­wise ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the gift, calling it an “un­ex­pected joy.”

Uni­ver­sity of­fi­cials also said the en­dow­ment could be used to help mul­ti­cul­tural stu­dents travel and study abroad, and po­ten­tially hold a con­fer­ence on cam­pus to dis­cuss lead­er­ship from mul­ti­cul­tural per­spec­tives.

“We’re very ap­pre­cia­tive of Larry and SSI,” Hut­son said.

Dowdy grad­u­ated from West Ch­ester Uni­ver­sity in 1973 with a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in ed­u­ca­tion, and earned a master’s de­gree from there in 1980 in coun­selor ed­u­ca­tion.

“It’s not about the name above the of­fice, but what the en­dow­ment will do,” Dowdy said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO — WEST CH­ESTER UNI­VER­SITY

From left, Matthew Dowdy, Meryl Dowdy, Lawrence Dowdy and Leah Dowdy.

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