March 26, 2024

Inaugural Philanthropy Day Banquet Focuses on Giving and Gratitude

PBA News

Generosity was the focus on Monday, March 20, 2024, as Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) hosted its inaugural Philanthropy Day donor meet and greet.

This gathering, in the words of PBA’s President Deborah Schwinn, “is [a] wonderful [opportunity] to meet so many generous people who are supporting students from all across campus.”

Tangible Gratitude

During the event, students like Hannah Gromis, Joel Anderson, and Lydia Kuerth, were able to thank the charitable individuals who either partially or wholly sponsored their education at PBA in-person and have conversations with them.

Freshmen Gromis and Kuerth, students of Biblical Studies and English, are immensely thankful to be recipients of the academically rigorous and highly competitive Jacob Farish Scholarship. For them, PBA’s practice of philanthropy has had the immeasurable impact of allowing them to pursue God’s call on their lives.

Gromis shared that the Ferish Scholarship has served as evidence of “God’s hand on [her] life,” with Kuerth adding that the award helps her “concentrate on education… [and] giv[ing] back [to the] community,” rather than on finances.

Sophomore Joel Anderson, speaker-coordinator of Anchor worship nights, likewise stated that the Robert Jacobson scholarship has “give[n] him confidence that [God has] got him in His hands.

Pharmacy and Faith

On the other side of the giving, meet Dr. Wagdy Wahba, a man with a heart for Christ, pharmacy, and philanthropy.

Dr. Wahba taught at the Gregory School of Pharmacy, which he described as a “mission field,” from its inception in 2001, until his retirement in 2014. These days, his name can be most associated with the Wahba chapel in the upper levels of the Gregory School of Pharmacy, as well as with the Wagdy Wahba Living Faith Endowed Scholarship.

“I love the pharmacy part,” Dr. Wahba shared, “but I love the faith part more.”

He added that he views pharmacy education as a “foundation to God’s amazing creation [and] intelligent design.”

Professor Barbara Kelly: A Lasting Legacy

Dr. Wahba also told of the legacy of Mrs. Barbara Kelly, the inaugural Dean of Students for the Gregory School of Pharmacy, and someone who, during her time at PBA, left a clear impact and acted as an “example of Christ to the students.”

While Professor Kelly may no longer be with us, her legacy will live on through the Barbara Mancini Memorial Endowment, awarded to first-generation pharmacy students and overseen by her husband and daughter, Robert Kelly and Amanda Foster.

Philanthropy Day at PBA’s West Palm Beach Campus also featured additional activities, such as a “Thank You” station, where students could write cards to donors and enter a raffle for air pods.

To learn more about PBA’s myriad of scholarships, grants, and endowments, visit or contact

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