Summer 2022 / Around the Green

Where in the World Was Wes?

28 Stops and 100s of stories later President Fugate had a busy and productive year traversing the country to meet alumnae and alumni and hear their stories of Wilson.

Having been appointed only one month before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and the country shut down, Fugate made up for lost time and learned firsthand what the College means to her most essential and ardent supporters. After a marathon 28-stop tour of the country, he returned to Sharpe House invigorated and humbled by the welcomes he received and the outpouring of support for Wilson.

The stops are listed by location and host(s).

Allentown, Pa.—Barbara Conover ’59, Former Trustee

Atlanta, Ga.—Jennifer Nickle Banzhof ’94, Trustee and Alumni Parent

Berkeley, Calif.—Betty Lou Leedom Thompson ’60, Trustee Emerita, and her daughter, Karen Chapman

Boston, Mass.—Edward and Marsha Haley Lamson ’66

Boulder, Colo.—Leslie L. Durgin ’69, Former Trustee, and Sam Fitch

Bryn Mawr, Pa.—Patricia Westervelt Bennett ’68, Former Trustee

Chambersburg, Pa.—William and Maxine Lesher Gindlesperger ’98, Trustee

Charlotte, N.C.—(no hosts)

Chicago, Ill.— Nancy Hackett ’60

Dallas, Texas—Judith Reny Stewart ’73, Former Trustee

Greencastle, Pa.—Kathleen Wolfinger ’66 and Tracy Leskey ’90, Former Trustee

Harrisburg, Pa.—Dr. William and Jane Everhart Murray ’67, Trustee Emeriti

Kennett Square, Pa.—Margaret Hamilton Duprey and Dr. James Orsini, Trustees

Lancaster, Pa.—William P. Kiehl, Trustee and Pamela Francis Kiehl ’66, Former Trustee

Minneapolis, Minn.—Linda E. Krach, MD, ’74, Trustee

Naples, Fla.—John and Beverly Farber Wernette ’66

New Canaan, Conn.—Thomas and Charlene Cronenberg Berardino ’63

New York City, N.Y.—Loretta Hunt Marion ’61

Novato, Calif.—Lawrence Bauer, Former Trustee and Alumni Parent, and Margie Hilton

Pittsburgh, Pa.—Robin J. Bernstein, Trustee

Portland, Ore.—Susanna Neal Duke ’71, Former Trustee, and Earl Robicheaux

Princeton, N.J.—Betty Lou Leedom Thompson ’60, Trustee Emerita

Raleigh, N.C.—Priscilla Guild ’66

State College, Pa.—Terry and Janet Chamberlain Flinchbaugh ’69

Venice, Fla.—John and Julie Solleveld Osborne ’64

Washington D.C.—Trudi Warner Blair ’76, Past Board Chair and Trustee Emerita, and Hillarie Flood, Trustee

Williamsburg, Va.—(no hosts)

Winston-Salem, N.C.—(no hosts)

RELATED: Spring Break Through Service A Gift of $22K in 2022 Scarlet’s Letter: Summer 2022

Spring Break Through Service

By Rev. Derek Wadlington

Critical thinking, power tools, and meaningful impacts.

For the fourth time in five years, I had the privilege to lead a group of students on a service trip. This year Crystal Lantz, the director of international students, and I led six students to Plymouth, N.C., a sleepy hamlet of about 3,400 people. We worked alongside volunteers from Lend A Hand, a Presbyterian disaster response agency, to serve at Carolina Rebuilding Ministry. Over the week, the 20 of us worked at five different sites performing tasks that included rebuilding porches, mending rotted-out floors in kitchens and bathrooms, drywall preparation, replacing skirting on a mobile home, plus assorted other jobs. We lived in community for a week, staying at Plymouth United Methodist Church.

Why you may ask, would students give up their spring break to pack into a van and spend the week getting up at 6 a.m. to work every day? Heather Judge ’26 said, “It was very nice to serve with other students who share my passion for service. I have made good friendships out of this with people I only knew casually before the trip.” Carly Ashway ’25 noted, “It was one of the best volunteer trips I’ve had in a long time. It made me realize what I love to do, which is to help people in need.”

Tiffany Day ’26 had a very different approach going into the trip. “I’ve encountered many hardships within the past year, and attending the LAH trip impacted me immensely,” she said. “I truly needed this experience. I gained a community that supported me all the way, which has also led to forming some great friendships. Also, just being able to help someone in need while using power tools at the same time definitely feels pretty empowering.”

When I am asked about what part of my work fuels me the most, I always point to these service trips. I find that students learn about themselves on this trip in a way that is distinctly different than on campus and in the classroom. As students, they are used to learning critical thinking in the classroom. They also learn these skills on a trip like this while using power tools, hammers, and tape measures, all while trying to diagnose real-life problems of houses that need repair or partial replacement. This is not a “watch and learn” environment; it is hands-on learning with instruction from volunteers who have years of volunteer and professional experience in construction. Students are apprentices in the best sense — they are shown how to do something, then immediately given the opportunity to do the work.

I have repeatedly witnessed students transform during the week. Many start the week timid and hesitant, concerned that when they try something, they will fail. News flash: they will. We all fail. It’s learning from mistakes that helps us grow.

Something changes when they drive that first nail home with one blow of a hammer or the first time they measure and cut a board to the correct specifications. There is a realization that they “did it!” As the week progresses, the realization that they can successfully apply what they have learned gives them the belief and confidence that there are other things they can learn and successfully apply. They then bring this newfound knowledge and self-awareness with them back to campus, where it impacts all facets of their lives.

Layered on top of this is service to others. In this case, Carolina Rebuilding Ministry has worked with the homeowners to identify the areas of greatest need, so we are not coming in to tell them what needs to be done; we are responding to their expressed needs. We often get to meet the homeowners and learn about them and their lives. Through the work and the conversations, students see how a small group of folks from four states away spending a few days fixing the rotten floor in a bathroom, replacing a porch, or building an access ramp can have a meaningful impact on other people’s lives. They learn how the simple act of giving one’s time and talents can affect good in the world in a tangible and important way.

 

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A Gift of $22K in 2022

This alumna found her career in business thanks to the flexibility of a liberal arts education.

by Darrach Dolan

After a youth spent reading the James Herriot books about his life as a veterinarian in Yorkshire, Jennifer Banzhof ’94 was determined to become a vet.

Luckily for Wilson, she also wanted to ride competitively. She became interested in the College when she learned of our equestrian program, became even more curious when she discovered that she could keep her horse with her, and became convinced it was the place for her when she visited campus. “Everyone was so friendly; I got that wonderful feeling that this is home.”

Thanks to her excellent grades, she was awarded a full Sarah Wilson Scholarship. All she had to do was maintain a 3.4 GPA — not an issue for someone with her academic strengths, or so she thought.

Unluckily for Banzhof (and perhaps luckily for large animals), the natural sciences did not come “naturally” to her, and she had to switch majors or risk losing the scholarship. It was an end to her veterinarian dream, but she recognized that she was a mediocre scientist at best.

“The beauty of the liberal arts is that you are exposed to different subjects and find something that clicks with how your mind works,” she said. “I hit statistics, and they clicked. I completely get stats!” This revelation spurred her pivot from a biology major to a business and economics major.

Like her path to statistics, her journey into the business world meant learning what she was good at by finding out what she was terrible at. After graduation, she went to Atlanta planning to work for Emory University, where, as an employee, she could pursue a master’s in health administration for free. Unluckily for Banzhof, jobs at Emory were few and far between. “After being in Atlanta for a huge amount of time — two weeks — I took a job as a secretary for a third-party administrator of employee benefits plans,” she said. “But I was the world’s worst secretary.”

Luckily, Consolidated Benefits Services saw potential in her and moved her to their consulting department. She has never looked back. “The liberal arts prepare you for this sort of thing. I ended up in a position where I have to do a lot of math and statistics, which is great, but I also do a lot of critical thinking and research, and every day is just a little bit different in what I do. I couldn’t have had a better background for it.”

Today Banzhof and J. Scott Haynsworth own BHA Consulting LLC — an employee benefit consulting and actuarial firm. There she specializes in employee benefits and negotiating contracts between employers and employees.

Discovering that statistics were her thing was important. But equally important, Wilson taught her the interpersonal and speaking skills crucial to her job. “My mother used to say, I can’t believe you have a job where you talk to people for a living,” she said. “I was the kid in high school who never said anything. I came to Wilson, and you had to talk because there were not enough people in the classes for you not to talk. And I found out people will listen when you talk and have good things to say. Without that, I would not be here today. I would not own a business. So, I feel I owe it to Wilson to give back.”

And she certainly has given back generously. Apart from her many financial gifts to the College, Banzhof has contributed her time and energy. She served on the board of the AAWC and, for the past nine years, as a Trustee of the College. Her latest act of generosity, a gift of $22,000 to the Wilson Fund, is to celebrate her daughter’s graduation as a member of the Class of 2022.
Delaney Banzhof ’22 followed in her mother’s footsteps reluctantly. She only visited Wilson because her mother said, “I’m on the Board of Trustees, and it would look bad if you didn’t at least do the admissions tour. Do the tour, and I won’t say another word, I promise.”

“We went back to the hotel afterward, and [Delaney] looked sort of upset. She said to me, ‘You know, I really loved it. It felt like home. I really think this is where I want to go.’” After that, it was hard to get Delaney to even apply elsewhere. And Delaney Banzhof, like her mother, thrived at Wilson.

Seeing her daughter succeed inspired Banzhof’s latest gift. “There are so many students out there that would thrive in Wilson’s supportive, close-knit community that would struggle or just get by in other environments. Celebrating my daughter’s graduation is a great reason to give to Wilson, but it is also timely. Wilson needs our support now.”

2022 sees mother and daughter graduate — one with a degree and the other from the Board of Trustees. The College will miss their energy and commitment, but we suspect this is not the last we will see of the Banzhof women.

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Scarlet’s Letter: Summer 2022

Why hello there! I do hope all is well with you and yours. Life here at Wilson College is as lovely as ever. My guests have finally begun removing those facemasks on campus, and as I suspected, they’re nothing but smiles when they see me. The weather in Chambersburg is finally warm, but can you believe we had snow here in April? How entirely unnecessary.

Have you heard the big news? Through my professional organization, Cats Advising, Training, Nurturing, and Informing Presidents (CATNIP), I’ve been informed that we’ve had a new member join our ranks! Yes, I’m told that one Ms. Willow Biden has assumed her role as presidential cat in the White House. And better still, Ms. Willow is a native Pennsylvanian! How simply delightful!

Now, I myself have not had the privilege of visiting this White House, but surely it can’t compare to the majesty that is Sharpe House? Still, this White House seems to have a long history of presidential cats running their organization, including a Mr. Socks Clinton and a Ms. India Bush. Surprisingly, a number of dogs have also attempted to run the White House. Can you just imagine the chaos? How absurd.

Allow me to send warm, heartfelt greetings from Sharpe House to you, Ms. Willow, and to welcome you into your role. Being a presidential cat is an enormous privilege but also a huge responsibility. Believe me, I know. To help ease your transition into your position, I’d like to share with you my top three tips for a presidential cat:

1. You are the backbone of your organization. Without you, your president would not accomplish anything. Indeed, there was a time, not too long ago, when my president would work from home, just so I could direct him. He would even video conference with his colleagues here at Wilson, so I could occasionally make an appearance and weigh in on matters. Remember, whatever organization your president runs, you are vital to its success.

2. You must be a gracious hostess. You will have visitors from across the globe who will be coming just to see you. Indeed, in my short time here at Wilson, I have hosted guests from nearly every continent, not to mention countless local Chambersburg dignitaries. Remember to be on your best behavior, be sure to greet everyone, and for those who get a little too familiar, a polite hiss will remind them of their place.

3. Take care of yourself. Being a presidential cat is hard work. You will be welcoming guests, hosting events, and running your organization, on top of maintaining the domestics of your White House. Surround yourself with support, and remember, when life gets tough, never underestimate the value of a good catnap.

Again, welcome to your role, Ms. Willow, and know that your White House is better with you in it. Perhaps someday we can share a saucer of milk here at Sharpe House. And to the rest of my readers, I do hope you’ve appreciated this glimpse into the often stressful, always rewarding, life of a presidential cat.

Until next time,

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Sports Wrap: Summer 2022

By Jeremy Shepherd

Spring brings successes for the Phoenix.

Another successful year has concluded for Phoenix athletics. 10 of the 11 athletics teams made the postseason this year, with three teams (field hockey, men’s basketball, and softball) claiming CSAC championships and earning a spot in an NCAA Tournament.

SOFTBALL claimed its second CSAC championship in the last four years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history. While at the NCAA Tournament, the team became the first program in Wilson history to win an NCAA Tournament game by defeating Hunter College 2-0. Megan Potter ’22 was named to the Newport News All-Region team as well as NFCA and Team All-Region. Potter also was named 1st Team All-CSAC and was the CSAC Pitcher of the Year for the second time in her career. Alyssa Wenger ’23 was named NFCA All-Region 3rd team and was also 1st Team All-CSAC.

BASEBALL set a program record for wins with 31 wins and tied for first place in the CSAC. After winning their opening CSAC tournament series versus Cairn University, the Phoenix fell in the winner-take-all championship game to Keystone College. A record 11 players were named to the all-conference team, and Cam Nolet ’23 was named Pitcher of the Year, Chris Baumann ’25 was named Rookie of the Year, and John Poss was named Coach of the Year.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL battled through injuries all season long and managed to earn a spot in the CSAC playoffs. After defeating Bryn Athyn in the opening round, the Phoenix fell to top-seeded Clarks Summit. Yaya Cannon ’22 and Samira Murphy ’22 were named to the CSAC All-Conference team.

MEN’S BASKETBALL won the CSAC championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history with a 77-72 victory over Cairn University. Adrian Thomas ’22 was named CSAC Tournament MVP. Warrick Godwin Jr. ’23 was named CSAC Player of the Year and also earned a spot on the DIII Hoops All-Region Team. Coach Mark Seidenburg was named CSAC Coach of the Year.

MEN’S VOLLEYBALL made a run to the postseason, where they eventually fell to top-seeded St. Elizabeth. Shae Cardenas ’22, Noah Wickenheiser ’23, and Saria Alshaikhali ’24 were all named to the CSAC All-Conference team.

MEN’S GOLF had a busy spring as the team competed in five events, including the United East Conference championships. Josh Howells ’22 tallied the low score for the Phoenix at the championships with a 193, which placed him 33rd overall.

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