Proceeds from 2023 Maroon & Gray Society Celebration will enhance student extracurricular opportunities through the Richard M. Bunnell ’49 Memorial Fund
“Dad, during his 30+ years on the State College School Board, always worked tirelessly for the students, and the community of State College,” Tib Bunnell ’79 said of his father Richard M. Bunnell ’49 who passed away in May 2022. Richard’s family, including his wife Gwen (retired 25+year kindergarten teacher at Corl Street Elementary), son Tib, daughter Carol (Bunnell) Grim (retired kindergarten teacher at Radio Park Elementary and Education Foundation board member), and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, decided to dedicate memorial contributions to the Education Foundation.
Proceeds from the 2023 Maroon & Gray Society Celebration will be added to the existing Richard M. Bunnell ’49 Memorial Fund and designated for enhancing extracurricular opportunities.
“With my dad’s never-ending support for children and seeing that all students had an equal opportunity to succeed, our family thought the best way to honor my father was through the Education Foundation’s commitment to enhancing extracurricular opportunities for all students,” Carol said. “My dad devoted his entire life to family and community. As a young boy, he enjoyed scouting as well as his school and school-sponsored activities and athletics. As an adult, he was a husband, father, grandfather, a gentleman who not only participated in Rotary, Church, SCASD School Board, and more, but was a leader in all he volunteered in.”
“Dad drew us into the meaning of participating in activities we enjoyed, activities that carried us through our lives, activities which shaped us but also taught us how to share, learn and grow with others. The Foundation is the perfect place for Dad’s hopes for children of all ages to have a chance to try new things, find their talents, lead them into their path for the future, and have fun through learning! Dad was a quiet, unassuming, gentleman. While I would have loved to have had his name strewn across the sky permanently in his honor, I knew HE would want his memorial donations to go directly to children. I know the Education Foundation will help to steward these gifts so that every penny will be used to enable the fund to grow permanently, helping not just a few children but many,” Carol continued.
Carol also shared her personal experiences as an alumna, parent of alumni, and educator in the district.
“I was fortunate to be a parent of FIFTH generation SCASD graduates. I had the most wonderful experience MY entire public school career with our district, but it was through my children’s experiences (I was an adult then!) that I could truly appreciate all our schools, from academics to activities. Athletics, music, art, fine arts, intramural athletics, student government, volunteer opportunities, at the end of the day these shaped my children and STILL DO, to be honest,” she said.
“The friendships made, the guidance of mentors and coaches, and the experiences outside of the classroom were without a doubt equal to the academic opportunities they had. Funding for these opportunities is so important. We have a HUGE school enrollment. Not everyone is going to make the team, or the Quiz Bowl, or the elite musical group, or even want to, as they have other things to explore. ALL students deserve to have their interests acknowledged. I can’t begin to count the opportunities we provide at SCASD, whether it is through an activity taking place during the school day or after. Whether on school premises or off. They all come with financial costs and it is our family’s hope, the Education Foundation’s hope, and SCASD’s hope, that funds can be accumulated to support these incredible and life-shaping opportunities,” Carol shared.
Carol said it’s also a great joy to her family that through this fund, her Dad can continue to make a lasting impact.
“My dad led by wonderful example. He was a life-long supporter of his family, community, and SCASD, and a true leader. To this day people share stories of him with us. Everyone loved him. His sense of humor, kindness, loyalty, devotion through service, and generosity to so many organizations and individuals. He always noticed someone in need and found a way to help, anonymously and quietly. His impact will be felt forever and will be passed down from generation to generation in our family,” she said.
On a more personal note, Carol shared that her Mom, Gwen, was truly the apple of her Dad’s eye and their strong relationship was a wonderful example for their family and friends. Calling him “the father everyone deserves.” Carol said his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are especially feeling the loss of their Taid (grandfather in Welsh). In their memorial tribute, they said, “Thanks, Taid, for showing us what a life can be. You’ll be with us for the rest of ours.”