Lafayette welcomes newest members to Société d’Honneur
Four new members were inducted into Société d’Honneur, Lafayette College’s philanthropic honor society on June 5 for their exceptional lifetime giving. The newest members include John Becica ’69 and Dorothy Becica P’69, Peter Grayson ’77, P’25 and Josephine Grayson P’25, George Jenkins ’74 and Jo Ann Jenkins, and Leon Wagner ’75.
The Société d’Honneur was formed in 1986 by Lafayette’s Board of Trustees to recognize exceptional generosity to the College. The financial support of the 29 inaugural members spanned the first 160 years of Lafayette’s history and strengthened all aspects of Lafayette. With the newest inductees, Société now includes 149 members.
The names of the newest members have been added to the wall at Société d’Honneur Plaza, which is located near the southwest corner of Pardee Hall. In 2016, Lafayette celebrated the 30th anniversary of the society by expanding the recognition space that honors Société members.
President Alison Byerly presented each inductee with a bronze replica of a statue of the Marquis de Lafayette during the ceremony which was held at the new Donahue-Garst Plaza at South College. The statue is a limited edition reproduction of an original piece of art executed in 1881 by French sculptor Aimé-Jules Dalou. The original statue was presented to the College in 1950 by Allan P. Kirby ’15, and is housed in the Kirby Library.
About the honorees
John C. Becica ’69 and Dorothy M. Becica P’69
John C. Becica ’69 established the John C. Becica ’69 Campus Landscape Beautification Fund, which includes a portion of his late mother’s (Dorothy M. Becica P’69) bequest to him. Becica has introduced many potential applicants to Lafayette, and has served as president of two alumni chapters. He is a member of the Friends of Skillman Library’s Executive Council, a member of the American Friends of Lafayette, and The Lafayette Trail Inc. He often presents lectures about the Marquis de Lafayette.
What inspires Becica to remain connected to Lafayette?
“My continuing connection to Lafayette is based on the family atmosphere that the College engenders. It began with a handful of close friends that I made as a student–classmates that I keep in touch with over 55 years later,” he explains. “My connections continued to grow as I became an active alumni volunteer and met a variety of dedicated graduates from other classes. Lafayette became a “second family,” prompting me to move my home to be near the campus in retirement.”
Peter Grayson ’77 P’25 and Josephine Grayson P’25
Peter and Josephine Grayson have generously supported the College’s Annual Fund, an endowed chair of Jewish Studies, the Jewish Life Endowment Fund, and most recently, created an endowment to support Lafayette’s Food Pantry.
“We are truly inspired by Lafayette College’s commitment to providing its students an educational experience in which they are encouraged ‘to develop systems of values that include an understanding of personal, social, and professional responsibility.’ We are pleased to be able to support new initiatives that further build on these core principles and enable the students to thrive now and in the future,” says Grayson.”
George M. Jenkins ’74 and Jo Ann Jenkins
Trustee emeritus George M. Jenkins ’74 and his wife, Jo Ann, have supported many initiatives at the College including the Daniel H. and Sandra Weiss Black Box Theater, financial aid, and insightful speakers in the Policy Studies Program. Jenkins also served on Lafayette’s Leadership Council and President’s Advisory Board. He has volunteered as a student lecturer, and has served as a host for externships and accepted students.
“The world is made up of doers and reviewers. Lafayette helped me become a doer, and Jo Ann and I have put that into practice. That is why we have worked to provide summer jobs, access to Lafayette, and unique speakers like Shelby Steele,” says Jenkins.
Leon M. Wagner ’75
Leon M. Wagner ’75 has been extraordinarily generous to Lafayette through his gifts to support the renovation of the Quad, the establishment of the Morrison Handsaker Study Abroad Endowment Fund, and his support for the Chair in Jewish Studies.
“I owe Lafayette College a great deal for its impact on my life. Because of Lafayette, I was able to attend The University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business and pursue a career in finance. Because of Lafayette, I made lifelong friends who have been part of my life for fifty years. LafCol will always be a part of who I am,” says Wagner.