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Hold Hope High Scholarship Challenge

“In everything you attempt, hold hope high.” SSJ Maxim 97

We are deeply grateful for the steadfast support of Chestnut Hill College (CHC) and our Annual Scholarship Gala. This event provides vital financial assistance to deserving students and is the College’s largest fundraiser. Our community’s generous support of the Gala directly impacts the lives of our students.

Given the rapid developments around COVID-19, and in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and the Governor of Pennsylvania, the College has made a change to its 11th Annual Scholarship Gala, which was scheduled for April 25. We still need your help. This year, the CHC community is initiating the Hold Hope High Scholarship Challenge. This new undertaking will be held online and will officially launch after Easter. No matter the structure of the event, our mission is clear and unchanged, meeting the financial needs of our students.

OUR STUDENTS’ NEEDS

Your support is more important now than ever! Nearly every student at CHC receives some form of financial assistance and more than $17 million in scholarships was awarded last year alone. Additionally, 45 percent of our students qualify for a Pell Grant, while the national average is 31 percent. Further, the COVID-19 environment has caused many of our working-class families to find themselves without a monthly income, and they will inevitably require additional financial assistance in the next academic year as well.

SUPPORTING OUR MISSION

Our mission is inclusive of scholars from all backgrounds and income levels. Your generosity provides the financial resources needed to fulfill our mission, to graduate students that live meaningful lives and have successful careers. Please join the CHC community as we rise to meet and surpass the challenges we face today. There has never been a more critical time to join together in support of our students.

More information about the Hold Hope High Scholarship Challenge will be available very soon. As always, we thank you for your support of Chestnut Hill College and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe during this crisis.

Our Honorees

Susan Jin Davis
Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast NBC Universal

Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer, has over 25 years of experience in the communications, media, and technology industry. In her current position, Ms. Jin Davis is responsible for identifying sustainable strategies and priorities and for implementing the Company’s Sustainability Program across all of ComcastNBCU business units and functions.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Jin Davis was Senior Vice President of Operations Compliance and was responsible for implementing product policies, operationalizing regulatory and legal requirements, reducing costs to the cable business, and managing business compliance.

In 2011, Ms. Jin Davis negotiated a historic Memorandum of Understanding between Comcast and the Asian American community as part of the Company’s merger with NBC Universal that creates ground-breaking commitments in the areas of programming, supplier and employment diversity, and community investment. She serves on Comcast’s Internal Diversity Council and is a Company liaison to the Comcast and NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. She is an executive sponsor of Asian Pacific Americans at Comcast, a Company affinity group.

Ms. Jin Davis was also responsible for launching Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program in 2011. Internet Essentials offers low-cost Internet service, discounted computer equipment and free digital literacy training to families with at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program. Internet Essentials is Comcast’s largest, most successful community investment initiative, having connected more than 6 million low income Americans to the power of the Internet in their homes.

Ms. Jin Davis has also been integrally involved in the Company’s approach to digital literacy, providing resources to customers on safe Internet use with particular emphasis on helping families understand the Internet and teaching children how to responsibly use Comcast’s services. She created and led the Company’s On-Line Safety Advisory Council, an external body of leaders in the area of on-line safety.

Ms. Jin Davis was recently recognized by Forbes as one of “Five Women of Color Who Should Be On Your Radar Screen.” She has completed the Women in Cable Telecommunications Senior Executive Summit at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the Women’s Executive Leadership Program at the Wharton School of Business, and CTAM’s Executive Management Program at the Harvard Business School. She received the 2010 Paragon Award of the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Cable and was a fellow in the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute of the Women in Cable Telecommunications. She has been named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Cable” by CableFAX and one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Minorities in Cable” by CableWorld for many years. Ms. Jin Davis is actively involved in Comcast’s diversity efforts, particularly as it relates to the Company’s relationship with the Asian American community. She serves as the Chair of the Board of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies and is a director on the Boards of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, and the Juvenile Law Center. Ms. Jin Davis also serves on the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr College. She lives in Kennett Square, PA with her daughter, Sophia.

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Kristen Gibbons Feden
Nationally Acclaimed Litigator, Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky P.C.

Kristen is widely-regarded as one of the Nation’s leading litigators in the field of sexual abuse.

Kristen M. Gibbons Feden has proven herself to be fearless when fighting for survivors against high profile offenders and large institutions. Christened by the New York Times as “The Prosecutor Who Stared Down Bill Cosby,” Kristen is internationally recognized as a leading litigator in the #MeToo Movement. Nationally acclaimed as a fierce litigator, Kristen has represented numerous sexual abuse survivors in their pursuit of civil justice and received a multitude of awards for her tireless work with the most vulnerable survivors, many of whom were in their darkest moments when they sought her out.

Practice Areas
Sexual Abuse
Civil Rights
Victims of Crimes

While her, now famous, closing argument in the second trial of Commonwealth v. William H. Cosby put her in the international spotlight, Kristen has always been dedicated to fighting for victims of sexual abuse both in and out of the courtroom. Kristen began her work with victims as a prosecutor in Montgomery County, where she served as Captain of the Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse Units and member of the Sex Crimes Unit. In that role she successfully litigated scores of cases to verdict, including trials involving sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence, and homicide. While a prosecutor, Kristen received multiple commendations for her courtroom successes and efforts on behalf of survivors. By taking many cases to trial that others would not, Kristen demonstrated her dedication to survivors, time and time again.

Outside of the courtroom, Kristen provides a powerful voice for victims nationwide. Kristen has traveled internationally speaking out and fighting for changes in the law and in our societies’ understanding of the dynamics of sexual violence and the effects of sexual trauma on survivors. She has been recognized by numerous victim’s rights organizations around the country for this work.

“Kristen has a rare mixture of compassion and killer instinct. A dream come true for her clients, a nightmare for the other side.”

Kristen is also regularly called upon for expert commentary on high-profile sexual assault matters by attorneys and international and national media outlets alike including CNN, CBS, ABC, Fox, NPR, and the BBC.

Kristen is also a proud member of various Boards and Court Appointments, including being a Board Member of AEquitas, a national resource center for law enforcement investigating and prosecuting sex trafficking and other sex crimes; the Vice President of the Montgomery County’s Victim’s Services Center; and a Member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Criminal Procedural Rules Committee. Her expertise is also frequently called upon by various advocacy groups to present and provide keynote speeches. Feden is also an adjunct professor in the top-ranked Temple LLM program in Trial Advocacy and Rosemont College.

Credentials

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Education

  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, JD
  • Lafayette University, BS

Professional Organizations

  • Board Member and Vice President of the Board, Victims Services Center of Norristown
  • Board Member, Philadelphia Academies, Inc.
  • Board Member, Cheltenham Police Athletic League
  • Board Member, Trinity Health Mid- Atlantic
  • Board Member, Aequitas
  • Trustee, West Chester University Foundation
  • Fellow, British American Project
  • Diversity Committee, Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Women’s Ministry, Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity 2019 Class of Fellows
  • Compliance Committee of Mercy Healthcare System
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Criminal Procedural Rules Committee
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Subcommittees: Bail Reform, Pretrial Procedures, Juvenile Expungement Procedures
  • Safer Streets Task Force

Honors and Awards

  • Safe Homes of Orange County, Family Justice Center Award
  • Main Line Today, Women on the Move
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Visionary Voice Award - Visionary Voice Award, Leadership Award
  • The American Lawyer, Litigator of the Week
  • The Legal Intelligencer, Lawyers on the Fast Track
  • Philadelphia Business Journal, Top 40 Under 40
  • Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Office Commendation - Montgomery Township Police Department, Unit Commendation
  • Upper Merion Police Department, Unit Commendation
  • Victim Rights Law Center, Leadership Award
  • Victim Services Center, Matty Muir Award
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Rising Star

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

  • Presenter, Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Assembly of Cities
  • Keynote Speaker, “Bringing Cosby to Justice: Investigating and Prosecuting High Profile and Cold Sexual Assault Cases,” Wisconsin Serving Victims of Crime Conference
  • Speaker, “Bring Cosby to Justice: The First Conviction in the #MeToo Era,” National Sexual Assault Conference
  • Speaker, “The Fearless Litigator: Navigating Media Attention on High- Profile Cases,” Law&Crime Network and the American Bar Association’s Media Training Program
  • Speaker, “A Story of Survival: Commonwealth v. Cosby, Leading with Courage, Breaking through Barriers and Persevering,” Shabtai: The Jewish Society of Yale University
  • Keynote Speaker and Presenter at the Northeast South Dakota Conference
  • Presenter, “Fireside Chat with Kristen Gibbons Feden,” Pennsylvania Bar Association’s 26th Annual Commission on Women in the Profession Conference
  • Faculty Presentation, “Closing Arguments,” Temple University Beasley School of Law LLM Program
  • Moderator, “Implicit Bias,” Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Keynote Speaker, “Moving Beyond: We All Have a Voice,”Lafayette College
  • Panelist, “Everyday Activism: Stepping Up and Showing Up,” for I Will Not Be Quiet
  • Keynote Speaker, “Leading with Courage, Breaking Through Barriers and Persevering,” Chamber of Commerce of Greater Montgomery County
  • Special Presenter, Minority Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Speaker, “The Ultimate Act of Power & Control: Overcoming Common Defenses in Domestic Violence Homicide Cases; Commonwealth v. Cosby – Bringing Cosby to Justice: The First Conviction in the #MeToo Era; and Seizing the Opportunity: Cross-Examination of the Defendant in Current & Cold Cases of Sexual Assault,” Crimes Against Women Conference
  • Panelist, “Bringing Cosby to Justice: The First Conviction in the #MeToo Era,” 10th Annual Criminal Law & Forensics Conference
  • Presenter, “Credibility in the Law: Handling Allegations of Sexual Harassment and Assault,” Greensboro Bar Association CLE Seminar
  • Panelist, “The #MeToo Movement’s Impact on Litigation, Counseling and Training,” Philadelphia Bar Association CLE Program
  • Speaker, “How Society Considers Sexual Assault Cases,” Shabtai: The Jewish Society of Yale University
  • Panelist, “Managing Your Work and Life Balance Part II – How I Can be a Judge/Lawyer and Still Have a Life?” Montgomery Bar Association Women in Law Committee CLE Program
  • Speaker, “Prosecution of Bill Cosby and the Importance of His Case in the #MeToo Era,” Evercore Wealth Management Wise Women Event
  • Panelist, “Time’s Up. How to Create Non-Complicit and Zero Tolerance Culture,” S.H.E. Summit
  • Panelist, “How Race Matters in the Adversary Process,” Tucker Law Group CLE: Standing on the Shoulders: The Black Philadelphia Lawyer
  • Speaker, “Sexual Violence, Harassment and Prevention Tactics and Techniques,” University of Pennsylvania Bloomers Comedy Alumni
  • Presenter, “Using Expert Witnesses,” Aequitas’ Expert Witness Testimony Training with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
  • Presenter, “The Global Child Abuse Epidemic with a Local Solution,” NALS of Pennsylvania 54th Annual Conference
  • Speaker, “Opening Remarks,” Laurel House 5K DASH Against Domestic Violence
  • Panelist, “Domestic Violence Town Hall,” Montgomery County Courthouse
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Varsovia Fernandez
Prominent Business Development Consultant

Varsovia Fernandez is a high impact business executive who is known for advancing organizations and leading by example. She has a depth of experience in financial services, not-for-profit, software technology, and e-commerce industries. Ms. Fernandez inspires others as an active leader in the region’s business and philanthropic communities.

Most recently, Ms. Fernandez was the Philadelphia market leader for fast-growing Customers Bank where she managed commercial lending with a focus on increasing access to capital for small and minority businesses. Ms. Fernandez is a recognized authority on Hispanic cultural, governmental, and educational affairs and how those affairs impact business. She has worked to maximize government and corporate relations as an advocate of the Latino community.

In her former role as CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Fernandez created a voice for Hispanic business in the Philadelphia region by focusing on growing Latino markets, advocacy and leadership.

Ms. Fernandez is able to bridge many diverse networks to deliver impactful results for the organizations directly associated including: Fortune 500, small businesses, multi nationals, governments, and institutions of higher learning. As vice president of external affairs for Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Ms. Fernandez helped increase the organization’s budget by establishing external affairs development that diversified funding. Ms. Fernandez is a co-founder of Congreso’s Corporate Advisory Council.

Passionate about education, volunteerism, and equity, Ms. Fernandez is a trustee of Rosemont College and Montgomery County Community College, a director of Philadelphia Health Management Corporation and a member of Comcast’s National Joint Diversity Council.

Ms. Fernandez has received numerous awards, including Pennsylvania GACLA 2018 Latino 100 Award, Philadelphia Business Journal’s Minority Leaders, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Hispanic Executive of the Year, HIAS & Council Heroes of Our Community, and the Pennsylvania Hispanic Bar Association’s Outstanding Community Service honor. In 2016, Pope Francis bestowed honors upon Ms. Fernandez with the Benemerenti Medal for her service to the 2015 World Meeting of Families.

Ms. Fernandez holds a BS in Business Management from Rosemont College and a graduate diploma from the American Banking Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She resides in Ardmore.

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Carol McCullough Fitzgerald
First Female Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Society

Carol McCullough Fitzgerald is the Executive Director Emeritus of The Pennsylvania Society, having served as Executive Director of the Society from 2000 until her retirement in 2017. She was the fifth executive director of the Society, founded in 1899, and the first woman to serve in that post. The Pennsylvania Society is a nonprofit patriotic and charitable organization which honors the achievements of Pennsylvanians, to reward excellence, to promote good will and understanding, and to celebrate service to the Commonwealth.

In everything she has put her hand to– activities, projects, organizations, relationships – both personal and professional– Ms. Fitzgerald has made a difference. She has been a role model and mentor to many, while striving to expand and improve.

Ms. Fitzgerald has made a career in planning and organizing programs and major special events. As executive director of the Pennsylvania Society, Ms. Fitzgerald was responsible for coordinating and supervising all activities of the Society including membership, finances, committees, the annual dinner gala, annual luncheon meeting, scholar award program, scholarship program, archives, media coverage, staff and volunteers.

Prior to her association with The Pennsylvania Society, she served as the executive producer of PoliticalFest, a unique, nonpartisan, multimedia, interactive celebration of American politics. The first event of its kind, PoliticalFest was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia in conjunction with the 2000 Republican National Convention.

Before that, Ms. Fitzgerald was the Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations at Drexel University, where she was responsible for the overall management and operation of programs involving over 70,000 alumni. Before working with Drexel's alumni office, she planned alumni activities at the University of Pennsylvania for its then 239,000 living alumni, and was responsible for class reunions, communications, promotional efforts, travel programs, and supervising the work of hundreds of volunteers as well as staff.

Ms. Fitzgerald has worked as a public relations consultant specializing in event planning and government relations, and as such has managed major political campaigns, fundraising strategies and events for candidates and elected officials in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

Active in the community, Ms. Fitzgerald has served on many boards and commissions, including the Governor's Industrial Board, the General Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania, the Board of Directors of Chestnut Hill College, the board of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, the board of Historic Philadelphia, Inc., the Regional Advisory Board of the American Ireland Fund, the Forum of Executive Women, and served as a patron/sponsor of Voices in Harmony, a nonprofit mentoring organization for inner-city teenagers in Los Angeles co-founded by her daughter. Among her many honors, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by Chestnut Hill College in 2016.

A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, Ms. Fitzgerald earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s degree from Drexel University. She is the mother of three grown children, grandmother of five, and resides in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia with her husband, the Honorable James J. Fitzgerald, III.

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Binney Wietlisbach
President, The Haverford Trust Company

Ms. Binney Wietlisbach is the firm's President and has been with Haverford since 1992. Binney has worked in the financial services industry since 1985. She is a member of the Executive Committee, a voting member of the Investment Selection Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors of The Haverford Trust Company.

Achievements & Recognitions
  • Society of the Holy Child Jesus "Faith in Action Award" 2019
  • Main Line Chamber of Commerce "Helena Devereux Women in Leadership Award" 2017
  • Keynote speaker: Women's Resource Center Leadership Luncheon 2017
  • Penn State "Outstanding Liberal Arts Alumni in Business Award" 2016
  • Barron's "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors" 2011– 2015
  • Barron's "Top 100 Women Financial Advisors" 2010 – 2015
  • Moxie Women cover story "Empowering Women by Taking The Mystery Out of Money Management" June 2013
  • Mainline Today "Woman on the Move" 2010
  • Philadelphia Business Journal "Women of Distinction" 2008
Certifications & Education
  • B.S. from Pennsylvania State University
  • FINRA Series 7, 24, 27, 63, and 65
Board Affiliations & Professional Memberships
  • Board of Directors, Caroline A. Buck Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Mindfulness Through Movement
  • Board of Directors, Connelly Foundation
  • Independent Director, Philadelphia Section PGA
Previous Experience
  • Private Banking Department, Meridian Bank
Previous Board Affiliations
  • Board of Directors, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Alumni Board, Pennsylvania State University, College of the Liberal Arts
  • Board of Directors, Philadelphia Bar Foundation
  • Board of Counselors, Historical Society of Pennsylvania
  • Member, Georgetown University Parent's Leadership Council
  • Finance Committee, The Baldwin School
  • National Advisory Board, Baldwin School
  • Regional Board, F.O.C.U.S.
Client Service Support Team
  • Betty Tafel, Senior Investment Officer
  • Leslie Wentz, Investment Officer
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2020 Hold Hope High Committee

 

  • Kenneth Wong, Chair

  • Pamela Bennett

  • James P. Gallagher, Ph.D.

  • Nancy Day Kelley ’71

  • Mary Pat Feeney Kessler ’83

  • Joanne McFadden McBride ’63

  • Lyn Sagendorph Montgomery ’97 SCPS

  • Catherine Lockyer Moulton ’92

  • JoEllen Noonan Parsons ’66

  • Stephanie Reif ’13

  • Meghan Walsh-Farrell ’92

  • Erin Wooley


2020 Hold Hope High Scholarship Challenge Sponsors

CHAMPION

Thomas Wynne Apartments, Wynnewood, PA

Springhouse Apartments, Trappe, PA

ADVOCATE

The Haverford Trust Company

David* & Lyn Montgomery '97 SCPS (D)

The Philadelphia Phillies

MENTOR

The Honorable & Mrs. James J. Fitzgerald III

IBEW Local Union 98

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP

FRIEND

Jill Kimberley Banks (D)

Public Health Management Corporation