Wilkes University will celebrate 81 years of educating first-generation college students at its Founders Gala on Saturday, June 7, 2014. The black tie gala, which will become an annual event, will be at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre at 6 p.m. Proceeds will support the new First Generation Fund, established to provide additional scholarship funding to first-generation students.
“Wilkes has made a commitment since its beginning to support students who are the first in their family to pursue a college degree,” says Patrick F. Leahy, Wilkes president. “This event will help us continue to serve this crucial component of our mission, our future, and serve as a celebration of our community and our past,” Leahy says.
Wilkes alumnus Joseph Savitz, a member of the first class to graduate from Wilkes College, will be presented the inaugural President’s Medal at the gala. The award, Wilkes’ highest honor, acknowledges someone who has helped enhance the student experience and advance the mission of the University. From time to time, the President’s Medal will be presented to individuals whose personal and professional lives reflect the highest aspirations of Wilkes University.
After graduating from Wilkes in 1948, Savitz earned a juris doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and joined the Wilkes-Barre law firm of Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald LLP. He served as a Wilkes trustee from 1959 to 1994, holding the position of chairman from 1975 to 1978 and earning the title of trustee emeritus.
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