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Students say thank you as Misericordia honors scholarships and benefactors at 33rd Annual Scholarship Recognition Brunch

Students say thank you as Misericordia honors scholarships and benefactors at 33rd Annual Scholarship Recognition Brunch

Students say thank you as Misericordia honors scholarships and benefactors at

33rd Annual Scholarship Recognition Brunch

Plains native Barbara Kosko crossed the Misericordia commencement stage in 1953 and earned the top science award and her bachelor’s degree in chemistry. The university again recognized her as the benefactor of four honored scholarships at the university’s recent 33rd Annual Scholarship Recognition Brunch.

Barbara Kosko With Students

With the theme “Celebrate Gratitude,” the event recognized the more than 300 named and endowed scholarships Misericordia awarded this year. The event introduced the benefactors of those scholarships to students who received the financial awards. The 120 guests had the opportunity to share stories on what philanthropy means to them and see first-hand the impact scholarship support has on the students’ lives.

Traveling to campus from her home in Port Washington, New York, the 91-year-old Kosko was one of three Misericordia’s female graduates hired immediately following graduation by a DuPont chemical facility in Gibbstown, New Jersey. Four years later, she was recruited to teach high school chemistry in nearby Clayton, New Jersey. She retired in 1989 after 32 rewarding years in education in New Jersey and Long Island, New York. 

During the brunch, Kosko met the four health science majors who, this academic year, received the endowed scholarships she funded: Mary Kate Farrell, Scranton, The Daniel F. Daley, M.D. Memorial Scholarship; Kennedy Wheeler, Waverly, New York, the Charles, and Dolores Kosko Kaczinski Memorial Scholarship; Breanna Fluhr, Lancaster, the Nicholas and Mary Kosko Memorial Scholarship; and J. Bennett Fletcher, Monroeville, the Elizabeth and Salvatore Lanzetta Memorial Scholarship. Kosko established the Kaczinski and Lanzetta scholarships in memory of her two late sisters and their husbands and the Kosko scholarship to recognize her late parents for supporting her education.

No one was more surprised than Kosko when she was awarded the Daley Medal during her Misericordia commencement nearly 70 years ago, given to the outstanding science student and named for Daniel F. Daley, M.D., the British-born pathologist who introduced a science curriculum to then College Misericordia decades earlier. The unexpected honor inspired her teaching career, so much so, that she donated her medal to the Misericordia archives and endowed the Daniel F. Daley, M.D. Memorial Scholarship in his memory in 2020. Dr. Daley’s granddaughter, Claire Kennedy, and her husband, Nicholas, traveled from Berwyn and met Kosko for the first time at the brunch.

In his welcome remarks, President Daniel J. Myers, Ph.D., shared his own experience as a scholarship recipient. “As a student, I never would have gotten through school without the scholarships I received. It means so much to me until this very day, and I am so grateful for the generosity of those who helped me. It changed my life – there is absolutely no question about it,” he stated. “I encourage our benefactors here today, many of whom are alumni, to share your stories, as well, and tell our students why you invested in them and their futures. The stories of your lives, challenges, and successes speak volumes about Misericordia and its history of servant-learning.”

Barbara Kosko

Before introducing the days’ honored guests, Tanya Easton, Ed.D., vice president of University Advancement, announced that Misericordia had awarded more than $1.3 million in endowed and named scholarships in the 2022-23 academic year. She thanked the university’s exceptionally loyal community of benefactors who understand that giving above and beyond enables greatness to occur. “Today, we celebrate our 33rd year of recognizing the special bonds between students and benefactors. Every one of those connections is special and often life-changing. Thank you for the benevolence that brings us here today.”

Wheeler spoke on behalf of all student scholarship recipients and shared her appreciation for the support. “While looking at colleges, I would have never guessed that I would be able to go to a private school, let alone in a different state from where I lived. Being raised by a single parent and having a sibling enrolled in college as well, could have limited my options for higher education. As a current graduate occupational therapy student, this scholarship has enabled me to focus on my studies instead of worrying about the financial hurdles. I’m sure many others in this room can surely relate,” Wheeler offered.

“I am one of you,” Kosko stated to the students. “I received a scholarship when I graduated from high school. The year was 1949. But unlike you, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up. But, one thing was certain – I wanted to go to college.” The retired chemistry teacher says she continues to be inspired by the legacy of Dr. Daley, who made it possible for generations of students to explore careers in the sciences not yet established when he was alive. “The Misericordia science program has flourished from two laboratories when I was a student to the state-of-the-art center we have here today. Dr. Daley’s legacy is evident by the dedicated science faculty and students who get to explore the future with enquiring minds.”

For more information about establishing a scholarship at Misericordia University, please get in touch with Mark DiPippa, director of Development for Individual, Corporate and Foundation Giving, at 570-674-8194 or For information about the scholarships available to students, click here.

Photo Caption: Shown, from left, are students J. Bennett Fletcher, Monroeville, Pa., and Kennedy Wheeler, Waverly, N.Y.; Barbara Kosko, Port Washington, N.Y., benefactor/honoree; Daniel J. Myers, Ph.D., Misericordia president; and students Breanna Fluhr, Lancaster, Pa.; and Mary Kate Farrell, Scranton, Pa.