Penn State dedicates the CAPS Endowment, gift of the class of 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —The CAPS Endowment, a gift of Penn State’s class of 2016, was officially dedicated and recognized by President Eric J. Barron during a reception held on May 23 in the HUB-Robeson Center on the University Park campus.

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a unit of Student Affairs, provides group and individual counseling, crisis intervention, and psychological and psychiatric evaluations for undergraduate and graduate students as well as prevention and consultation services for the University community.

Barron spoke to the audience about the inspirational gift and its mission to call greater attention to issues regarding mental health. 

Brett Scofield, associate director of operations for CAPS, said that there has been a profound rise over the past two decades in mental health awareness across college campuses nationwide — putting mental health counseling programs like CAPS at the forefront of higher education initiatives.

“We are living through a gradual, but profound, cultural change,” Scofield said at the event. “As a result, today’s college students are more willing than ever to acknowledge their struggles and ask for help.”

According to CAPS, the percentage of students in the United States seeking health consultation has increased by 50 percent in the past 10 years. Scofield said that the endowment has allowed CAPS to continue to provide essential services to students facing mental health problems — making the 2016 class gift a perfect fit for this cultural change.

“This gift stands like a billboard to all Penn State students that we all believe that it is OK to seek help and that helping friends in distress should be a first priority,” he added.

Alumnus Ramon Guzman Jr., who served as student director of the 2016 Class Gift Campaign, said he believes that the gift expresses the truest meaning of “who we are” by expanding the programs and resources vital in addressing issues of student mental health, such as the addition in 2016 of an embedded counselor program. The gift will continue to allow for greater opportunity and sustenance for all Penn State students, present and future.

“Just as we stand arm in arm during the singing of our beloved Alma Mater, I feel through the 2016 CAPS endowment, that Penn State students are standing together to support all areas of a student’s well-being,” he said.

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Last Updated May 24, 2018