Pres. Spanier Cancels Renaissance Fund Dinner
One of the highest awards the University can bestow upon its benefactors is the Renaissance Fund award, which seeks to honor those who have “contributed greatly to the Penn State and State College communities,” according to its official selection criteria.
When President Graham Spanier and his wife Sandra were named the 2011 Renaissance Fund honorees this summer, there’s no way the events of this week could have been foreseen. A dinner honoring him — a dinner that usually raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the University — was scheduled for this Wednesday, the night before the Board of Trustees begins its regular round of closed meetings. The dinner was going to be held on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on the University Park campus, with a 6 p.m. reception, followed by dinner and a program at 7 p.m.
But according to an email distributed this evening to the individuals on the event guest list, the Spaniers have “requested that the Renaissance Fund dinner, scheduled for Wednesday, November 9, appropriately be postponed and rescheduled for Spring, 2012.” Doubtless he has more important things to do this week than attend a dinner in his honor, not to mention the tone-deafness that would be needed to allow such a dinner to even take place, but perhaps there is another reason why the Spaniers requested the dinner get moved to a different date.
In 2005, members of Rainbow Roundtable protested the Renaissance Fund dinner honoring Rene Portland for her alleged discrimination against lesbians. Perhaps Spanier didn’t want to see history repeat itself… Let us know what you think in the comments.