Horizons at SHU Raises Funds with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin

On March 20th Horizons at Sacred Heart University held an Aretha Franklin Concert fundraiser at Webster Bank Arena. Despite a spring equinox snow storm over 100 donors braved the weather to support our Bridgeport students’ scholarship fund. Major sponsors included: Peoples United Bank, St. Vincent's Foundation, Merit Insurance, Santa Energy, WSHU, and The Dowling Group. The event included a special pre-concert reception at the Webster Bank Arena-Harbor Club featuring Horizons at SHU’s own Staff Band; a trio of talented performers who also teach our students music. The reception was artfully managed by a special corps of Farrington College of Education staff who volunteered their services to make sure the event was a success. President Petillo and Jeff Rumpf, Executive Director of Horizons at SHU, offered rousing toasts honoring the spirit of service—of the event supporters that evening and how it makes Sacred Heart University so special. The event raised $50,000 for our Bridgeport students, providing a full year’s scholarship to an entire Horizons at SHU class.   

l to r Chris Ruhe/Joe Carter/Derek Graham ‌‌Dr. Petillo and Jeff Rumpf
l to r Chris Ruhe, Joe Carter and Derek Graham Dr. Petillo and Jeff Rumpf

After the reception, Aretha Franklin the "Queen of Soul” did not disappoint. Our Horizons supporters had the best seats in the house.  As Pete Seeger's grandson Kitama Seeger noted, "We were so close to Aretha; I felt like I was in her gospel choir singing with her.” Aretha showed tremendous range, vocal power, and the spiritual roots, for which she is celebrated. The evening was a wonderful success, especially for a first fundraising initiative. Jeff Rumpf thanks the Farrington College of Education, whose staff is always up to the challenge of supporting the program, “We could not succeed without their wonderful energy, resources, and support. We are already looking to the next concert fundraiser... hope you can join us!”

Jeffrey Rumpf MS.ED.
Executive Director
Horizons Enrichment Program at SHU
Inspiring Minds, Building Community, Transforming Lives