With a big announcement, Lehigh president Alice Gast announced the largest-ever gift to Lehigh last week: a mind-boggling 34.2 million dollar check from the estate of Donald Stabler ('30). Sports fans know him as the gentleman whose work and donations made the Athletics complex and Stabler Arena possible.
According to president Gast, that will be able to "double or triple" the number of Stabler Scholars that are currently attending Lehigh, meaning that somewhere between 30 and 60 new scholarships will be able to be endowed through this gift alone.
It's all good. Such scholarships don't only throw the endowment well past $1 billion dollars - it gives more and more students a chance at a Lehigh education.
Two new prospectives have been linked to Lehigh University: Red Bank Catholic LB Anthony Lubischer and William Penn HS (York, PA) FB/LB Brandon Walker.
Already generating Division I-A offers before their senior season, William Penn football players Malik Generett and Brandon Walker are looking to impress more schools and increase their options over the next several months.
A wide receiver, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Generett has earned scholarship offers from Connecticut and Akron and has also piqued the interest of Illinois, Maryland, Northwestern, Penn State and Pittsburgh. Walker picked up an offer from Army as a fullback and several other schools are keeping close tabs on the junior, including Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt, as well as Division I-AA schools Bucknell, Lehigh and Harvard....
Walker, who is being looked at as a fullback by some schools and as a linebacker by others, doesn't have the raw size and speed of Generett, but has a bit of a trump card in his 3.97 grade point average. He was also elected class president at William Penn and team captain as a junior by his football teammates. Outside of school, he has put in community service hours at The New Hustle, an organization that works to improve high school graduation rates for area Latinos and African-Americans.
"Coaches always say that there are many people across the nation that are athletes, but it's hard to find kids that get it done in the classroom and also have leadership skills and work in the community to make it better," Walker said. "They really talk to me about that a lot -- the way I help in the community."
On the field last season the 6-foot, 205-pound Walker was a YAIAA Division I All-Star at inside linebacker. He racked up 90 tackles, including 15 for a loss and six sacks. He also was a stellar presence at the fullback position and will make the transition to running back for the 2008 campaign.
Walker said Army made the scholarship offer in mid-March after visiting him in York and viewing his highlight reel. The fullback/linebacker said he is seriously considering the offer but wants to keep his options open. Walker mentioned Buffalo and Vanderbilt as two schools he is particularly interested in attending and will be at Vanderbilt on June 15 for a private workout.
Walker and Generett won't have to go anywhere for a chance to impress a couple of major programs this week. William Penn takes on Penn Manor in a 7-on-7 scrimmage Thursday, and Ortega said coaches from Maryland and Pittsburgh will be in attendance. It will mark the third time Pittsburgh has come down to watch Generett.
Walker sounds like a special kid for reasons other than football: he's the president of The New Hustle, a mentorship program to help African-American and Latino middle school kids keep their grades up and graduate.