WILKES-BARRE – Members of King's College's past gathered to celebrate the promise of its future at the annual Silver Century Club Christmas party Saturday evening.
Part of King's rich tradition, the Silver Century Club is just one of the college's Distinguished Donor Clubs, each with varying ranges of contributions.
Members of the Silver Century Club are those donors who contribute between $250 and $499 annually, with those contributions going towards providing high-quality education for students.
More than 400 members gathered for the event, which has been a King's mainstay for more than 30 years.
Tonight's party is in appreciation of those who contribute throughout the year as well as the years to come, Silver Century Club President Brian Vinsko said.
In what have recently been difficult economic times, Vinsko applauded the generosity of the club's membership and complimented their relationship with the college's surrounding community.
The people in this room are basically ambassadors, Vinsko said. They reach out into the community and garner more support for King's, whether it be by more people attending the school or by supporting the school.
That support might be more important than ever, with 95 percent of King's students receiving at least one type of financial aid. Events like these celebrate the support of student scholarships and faculty development through the donations of its members.
This tradition of giving is nothing new to King's College.
In its mission statement, King's encourages students and alumni to get out into their communities and participate not only in academic and professional capacities, but civic ones as well.
Donations from members of the club are one example that they are doing just that.
Longtime Silver Century Club donor and former dean of the McGowan School of Business Russ Singer said that he regularly attends as many events as possible.
Singer said there is a unique bond in the King's community.
The kind of association that goes on here tonight between people … you can't buy that, Singer said. And King's College sells that kind of community.
He added that members' past experiences at the college have a direct influence on those who might become a part of it in the future.
They represent King's, he said. If they had a good experience here, they're going to tell people to talk to King's College.
It seems like that might be happening.
During his tenure as president, Vinsko said he has seen a steady increase in the membership of the club.
The increase of support is a major thing to see, he said. I think the turnout tonight is a great indication of things to come.