April 4, 2018
Three freshman friends will celebrate earning West Chester University’s prestigious Presidential Scholarship at the 35th annual Presidential Scholarship Community Gala on Saturday, April 7. The Presidential Scholarship is a renewable, four-year award and is one of WCU’s largest scholarships that is funded entirely by private donations.
This year’s incoming academic scholars are all Honors College students: Cameron Ducey, a nursing major from Eldersburg, MD; Madison James, a cellular molecular biology major from York, PA; and Jennifer Knerr, a special education and early grades prep dual major from Slatedale, PA. These three students met during a summer Honors College experience on campus, became fast friends, continue to share time together, and now room on the same floor. Notes James, “Jennifer, Cameron, and I are all very different majors with different interests and habits but through both the Honors College and this scholarship, we were able to become closer friends.”
“I am so thankful to have received the Presidential Scholarship and that I get to share the honor with two of my closest friends,” adds Knerr. “When I met Cameron and Maddie over the summer, I had no idea that we would become so close and grow to have so much in common. These two caring, thoughtful individuals have truly become a huge part of my second family.”
Ducey agrees: “Honors College offers the small community feel within a large campus experience and provides the opportunity to work alongside amazing people. For example, Maddie James and Jennifer Knerr. … Though we have different majors and various interests, we can grow as we share our experiences and individual strengths to learn from each other.”
James says she and Ducey “worked out over the summer together. As student athletes, we were able to bond over schedules and workouts despite the differences in our sports.”
Additional information on this year’s exceptional scholars:
Cameron Ducey: WCU women’s swim team, member of Student Nurses Association of PA (SNAP), volunteers with WCU Rammies, a Special Olympics swim team. This summer, she will be joining the Ocean City, MD, beach patrol.
Madison James: Multi athlete on WCU women’s track team (pentathlon and heptathlon), member of the pre-med program, involved with the Michael Horrocks Leadership Academy for Varsity Athletes, attended the Horrocks Emerging Leaders Institute.
Jennifer Knerr: Member of the Honors Student Association and the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association of WCU, University Ambassadors, alumni coordinator for Aid to South Africa (WCU Honors College’s central charity). Also a Pennsylvania Society Scholar.
For 35 years, the University has hosted an annual black-tie gala to honor the Presidential Scholars as well as the private donors who have made these scholarships possible. In celebration of this emerald anniversary, on April 7 Hollinger Field House will be transformed into a European-inspired formal garden that also highlights the University’s focus on sustainability. The evening, which includes a silent auction with items such as trips, electronics, jewelry, begins with a special champagne and diamond raffle for a one-of-a-kind diamond jewelry piece designed and donated by Kaplan’s Fine Jewelry.
For more information on the 35th Annual Presidential Scholarship Community Gala or to donate to the scholarship fund, visit wcufoundation.org/gala.