Recent graduate honors those who helped him by giving back to causes dear to him

November 01, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In May of 2016, Ramon Guzman had an epiphany.

It was just days before his friends were going to walk across the stage at Penn State's graduation ceremonies. As outgoing 2016 Class Gift Committee president, Guzman was still celebrating one of the most successful class gift fundraising projects, the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Endowment.

Everyone around him was preparing to close the books on their courses and Penn State education. But with an extra semester in his major of education and public policy still ahead for Guzman, the weight of not joining his friends, and the subtle disappointment that came with it, settled heavy on his shoulders.

Professor of Education David Post noticed, said Guzman: “Professor Post took me aside and said, ‘Ramon, it’s all OK, you’re doing just fine, just one more semester.’”

In this simple moment of reassurance, everything came together for Guzman.

“I realized that Penn State is about more than just sunburnt days cheering for the football team or the long, electrifying nights caring for the THON dancers,” he said. “It is also about a warm moment between a student and a professor.”

This is a moment Guzman returns to every time he makes a gift to Penn State.

Guzman’s relationship with Penn State as an alumnus and new donor is driven by the mantra, “To whom much is given, much is required.”

He said, “I give to causes dear to me, like All In and the College of Education, and I give to centers and programs that helped me get to graduation day — CAPS and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center.”

Today, Guzman is a finance assistant for Gov. Tom Wolf’s campaign office. As a recent graduate and new member of the Golden Lion Society, he describes giving as the next chapter in his love story with Penn State.

He still daydreams about life in Happy Valley — cold Coconut Chip ice cream dripping down his hands while he waited for the Blue Loop; indulgent dinners at the Nittany Lion Inn with friends; the reassurance of thoughtful professors, counselors and friends when the pressure of school was getting to him.

Guzman honors these memories through giving.

“Someone did it when I was a student," he said. "Now, I can be that someone.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 12, 2018