For their 45th reunion, the Class of 1968 wanted to celebrate in a big way. They could have funded a permanent fixture—a garden, a room on campus, or a pretty clock. “But we wanted to do something different, something that would live through students,” says Lyn Trodahl Chynoweth ’68, former Moravian University trustee, longtime giver to the college, and class gift coordinator for her class’s 45th.
“So we started brainstorming how we could create a substantial gift that would be worthwhile to students and let them focus on one thing over the next five years,” Chynoweth says. The result: an endowment in the name of the Class of 1968 that helps support student internships—the first class endowment of its kind.
“Typically, internships are unsalaried, and often students have to figure out things like, ‘How am I going to get to Philadelphia every day? or How will I pay my living expenses when I get there?’” Chynoweth says. The fund goes toward offsetting those kinds of expenses that otherwise might prohibit the student from having the internship experience.
To jump-start interest in giving, the endowment set a goal of $100,000 over five years, in time for the class to celebrate their 50th. As of two days prior to their reunion, they had surpassed $115,000, reported Chynoweth, who serves on a small advisory committee for the fund that also includes Mike and Kathleen Dowd and Carolyn Felker.
The support is part of a trend; as a group, the Class of 1968 has a high giving rate. They are also allegiant to their alma mater. “A pretty substantial group comes to every reunion,” Chynoweth says.
And now, they are the first class to have their own endowment, which is a shining example of Moravian University alumni showing their love for their alma mater in the name of current students on campus. “We are paying it forward, with pleasure and pride in our institution,” Chynoweth says. “We hope, in some small way, it makes a difference.”
So far, the endowment seems to indeed be making a difference. “During my internship, I saw the educational side of heath care, which reminded me why I love medicine,” says one student whose internship was supported by the endowment. “I am now inspired to continue working hard, following the path of revolutionizing the way we teach. I’ve also sharpened my nursing skills in a professional setting.”
Another recipient says, “After undergrad, I plan to go to graduate school for student affairs, and this stipend helped me build relationships and gain experience.”
With these success stories in mind, Chynoweth says she hopes her class’s endowment serves as an example for other classes at Moravian. “We are proud to create this endowment fund as a legacy, and we encourage other classes to consider similar projects,” she says.