Campus Life

Class of 2020 votes to create CAPS endowment as gift to Penn State

Left to right: Maddy Bacon, director of student engagement for the Student Philanthropy Network (SPN); Sophie Haiman, associate director of communications; Colm Parrish, president of SPN; Wil Dunn, director of the Class Gift Campaign; Rich Bundy, vice president of Development and Alumni Relations; and Zack Durnack, director of fundraising, at the announcement of the 2020 class gift on Oct. 1, 2019. Credit: Penn State Class Gift CampaignAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s class of 2020 has chosen to create a lasting legacy by establishing an endowment to support Penn State's Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

The 2020 Class Gift Committee made the announcement on Oct. 1 at the “Past to Present” event hosted by Penn State Homecoming in the HUB-Robeson Center, in front of the Monumental Staircase. Seniors voted on their class gift from Sept. 26 through Sept. 30.

“Since the class of 1861, students have given back to the University. It is important that we keep this tradition and the philanthropic spirit alive among students. An endowment for CAPS will allow us to do that and more,” said Wil Dunn, Class Gift Campaign Committee director.

In addition, Rich Bundy, Penn State’s vice president for development and alumni relations, gave remarks in response to the class selection.

“The senior class gift is one of the oldest and most impactful traditions on our campus,” said Bundy. “Today, [the class of 2020 is] a part of that tradition. Through your gift to Penn State’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, you will play a lasting role in helping students of future generations manage a whole range of personal and mental health challenges they’re facing.”

Previously, seniors of Penn State's class of 2016 made an endowed gift to CAPS to help expand programs and resources vital in addressing issues of student mental health.

The University's class gift tradition began 130 years ago with the graduating class of 1861, whose members at their 1890 reunion presented the inaugural class gift, a portrait of Penn State’s first president, Evan Pugh. This portrait can still be found on campus today, hanging in Old Main.

Members of the Class Gift Campaign will be soliciting gifts — through events, emails and phone calls — from students graduating in May, August or December 2020. The students of the 2020 committee are Wil Dunn, director; Taylor Randolph, student outreach; Rachel Bruning and Sophie Haiman, marketing; William Dreese, events; and Zack Durnack, fundraising.

To make a gift to the 2020 Class Gift, text CLassGift2020 to 71777. Follow class gift information on Facebook or @PSUClassGift on Twitter and Instagram. Questions can be directed to Wil Dunn at or Brie Burdge, class gift adviser, at or 814-863-2052.

Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons


Last Updated September 23, 2020