University will celebrate National Philanthropy Day with student events, Wellness Center naming

November 13, 2023
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

Each year, Worcester State University celebrates National Philanthropy Day with its own special twistas “Phil Day,” honoring the late Phil Wasylean ’63, a benefactor, educator, and alumnus for whom Wasylean Hall is named.

This year’s celebration from 9 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, will include a variety of activities for students to learn about the history and impact of philanthropy on campus and to sign thank you cards to donors and faculty. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a drive-by food collection for Thea’s Pantry outside the Student Center. The day will culminate with a 3 p.m. unveiling for the naming of the Wellness Center in honor of Gene and Julianne DeFeudis, recognizing their lifetime of giving to Worcester State.

The event was designed to promote a culture of giving back on campus, and enable students to see the direct impact philanthropy has had on their education. National Philanthropy Day is celebrated around the country to highlight the importance of working together for the common good.

Here is this year’s Phil Day schedule:

9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Thank-A-Thon: ​​Students are invited to sign thank you postcards for donors and faculty members at a Thank-A-Thon location in the Sullivan T, Student Center Exhibit Area, and outside Chartwells in Sheehan Hall. Each station will have snacks, cider, and a chance to enter the Phil Day raffle.

9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Campus Scavenger Hunt: Students can pick up a scavenger hunt sheet at any of the Thank-A-Thon locations. There are 10 named locations around campus to find. The scavenger hunt leads students to discover the stories behind the names that appear on plaques and signs around campus.

10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Thea’s Pantry Food Drive: Everyone is invited to bring food and toiletry items to stock Thea’s Pantry. The food drive will be in front of the Student Center. Thea’s Pantry, on the third floor of the Student Center, is a university-wide resource, allowing any student, faculty, staff member, or alum to receive up to 35 pounds of food per week. The food pantry was named to honor Thea Aschkenase, a Holocaust survivor who died in 2019 at the age of 95. Aschkenase graduated with a degree in urban studies in 2007 when she was in her early 80s.

3 p.m. – Wellness Center Naming Celebration: The university will recognize the generosity and impact of philanthropists Gene and Julianne DeFeudis with the naming of the campus Wellness Center, which will now be called The Gene J. and Julianne DeFeudis Wellness Center. The unveiling will take place in the quad between the Wellness Center and Ghosh Science & Technology Building.

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