By: Amanda Coulson
Christopher Foltz, a Penn State alumnus, has much gratitude for Abington as he cherishes countless memories here that will never be forgotten. Christopher graduated from University Park in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in business logistics. He is now employed at IBM, a global leader in technology. Even though he attended University Park, the Abington campus holds a special place in his heart. This is because he grew up visiting his grandparents who live in Rydal, which is not far from campus. When he was younger, Christopher and his sister, Elizabeth Koehler, would visit the Duck Pond with their grandparents. This is where they shared the most meaningful memories in which they would walk, talk, and feed the birds.
Christopher and his sister wanted to give back to Penn State while honoring and preserving his grandparents’ memory, as the family has recently lost them both. With a donation to the Future Fund, they honored their grandparents, Raymond and Elizabeth Mercer, with a plaque on a bench near the Duck Pond. The entire family, including Ken and Lynne Owens (Christopher and Elizabeth’s mother) and their 5 grandchildren, visited Penn State Abington together right before Christmas to share this special moment. Christopher described the feeling when seeing the bench as “an overwhelming emotional feeling for our family, which brought us all together. It was a very powerful way to say thank you, not only for honoring the memories at the Duck Pond, but for what my grandparents have done for me in making my education at Penn State possible”.
This moment was especially touching because this tradition will be a legacy for their family. Christopher and Elizabeth were happy to share this with their children and parents. It has been about twenty years since Christopher visited Abington so it was nice for him to see how the campus has developed over the years. The family plans on carrying the same tradition with the next generation of children. Christopher also has high hopes of having his own children attend Penn State one day.
When asked what advice Christopher had for students, he expressed how important it was to have tradition and how little things in life matter the most. He went on to say how much he appreciates Penn State and how they treat everyone like family. Christopher said, “Invest in Penn State while you’re a student there, but also when you leave. Your experience as a Penn Stater continues after graduation”.
The family plans on getting back together in the spring for another visit to the Abington Campus, but this time the ducks will be on campus so they will be sure to bring the bread to continue on their tradition.