Provost Joshua Powers to Hike High Mountain to Raise Funds for Student Emergency Support


Provost Joshua Powers at the entrance to the High Mountain trail adjacent to the campus

Provost Joshua Powers is passionate about mountain climbing. An avid hiker, he has completed a number of “bucket list” climbs, including reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa at 19,341 feet, and reaching base camp at Mount Everest.

On Friday, November 19, at 1:30 p.m., he will hike a trail right here in the University’s backyard—to the 800-foot summit of High Mountain in the adjacent High Mountain Park Preserve—in support of his other passion: raising awareness about, and financial support for, first-generation college students.

“Hiking and climbing is hard work,” he says. “Going to college, especially for a first-generation student, is also hard work. Many first-generation students are also low-income, which poses additional challenges that can be an obstacle to completing a degree. I want to raise awareness of how big an impact that even a small gift to the University can make for such a student.”

To that end, Powers is inviting faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University to join him on the 3.2-mile round-trip hike to the summit—which offers sweeping views of northern New Jersey and New York City to the east— to celebrate the University’s participation in Giving Tuesday, which this year takes place on November 30, and raise funds for the Provost Powers Emergency Grant Fund.

The fund will provide support for full-time or part-time students in good academic standing who are experiencing an unexpected financial hardship in order to help them reach their goal of graduating. Powers will match the gifts of hike participants dollar-for-dollar up to $100 per donor, with the total not to exceed $5,000.

“I wanted to be part of the Giving Tuesday initiative, and talk about how important even a small amount of money can be for our students,” he says. “Earning a college degree is transformative for our first-generation students, as well as for their families and their communities.”

Powers plans to share a story every half mile of a WP student for whom a scholarship made a difference. In addition, he may share stories of the University’s history, values, and students through the years gleaned from The Beacon, the campus newspaper since 1936. The first 10 attendees who sign up will also receive a WP hat. In case of rain, the hike will be rescheduled to Friday, December 3.

“I encourage the University community to join me and support this effort,” he says. “Investing in our students and helping them finish their degrees has such an important impact.”

Interested in participating or wish to donate to the Provost Powers Emergency Grant Fund? Click here

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10/19/21