Skip to main content

Planned Giving

  • Present icon

    Keep us thriving with your planned gift

  • Pillar icon

    Take advantage of numerous tax and financial benefits

  • People icon

    Leave a legacy to be remembered by future generations

Print This
Email This
Request Illustration

Adam '00 M'02 and Erin Stauffer

Adam '00 M'02 and Erin Stauffer
Adam's Stauffer's experience at East Stroudsburg University was transformative.

By Susan Field

When he arrived on campus in summer 1996, Stauffer, '00 '02 M.Ed., a sport management major, had never been on his own and didn't know anyone. Within weeks on the Warriors football team, he had "80 friends" and was a part of a community. The close relationships he formed with his teammates made his college experience meaningful and continue to be important in his life today.

The discipline and structure that football provided also contributed to his success in the classroom, helping him to become a more focused student with goals for the future.

"When I landed at ESU, I really embraced the overall academic and football experience. I found an academic background that merged with sports, education, business, and the real world. My success in the classroom helped to open career opportunities. It was a very positive experience in my life and propelled me to where I am today," said Stauffer, associate vice president for development at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

Stauffer's gratitude for his experiences, coupled with his desire to give back and help students in the next generation have access to higher education, is the impetus behind his recent bequest commitment, naming the ESU Foundation as a beneficiary of a portion of his retirement fund for the Adam '00 and Erin Stauffer Endowed Football Scholarship. The endowed scholarship assists ESU students who are members of the football team.

"I want someone to have the doors open to the same opportunities that I had, and I don't want money to be a barrier," said Stauffer, who is the youngest member of The 1893 Society, and a member of the ESU Foundation Board of Directors.

Stauffer, who resides in Coopersburg, came to ESU by way of his high school football experience at Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster. His coach was Jim Cantafio,'76, a physical education major. Every summer, Cantafio, took his teams to a week-long summer Warrior football camp at ESU. After three summers of camps, in which he got to know legendary Warrior head coach Denny Douds, and Assistant Coach Mike Terwilliger, playing college football at ESU seemed like a natural progression.

In Stauffer's five years as a Warrior linebacker, the relationships forged, and lessons learned were more important to him than the team's record.

"It wasn't only about the wins and losses; it was about the friendships in the locker room. I learned about hard work, dedication, and commitment," said Stauffer, who keeps in regular touch with his former teammates. "I have seen their families grow. I'm the godparent of one of my teammates' children. I was the best man in one of their weddings, and one of my teammates was the best man in mine."

Professors and faculty members that had a positive influence on Stauffer, in addition to Douds, were Dr. Richard Lally, Dr. James Pooley, Dr. Robert Fleishman, and Dr. Chad Witmer '95 M'98. Standout undergrad classes were his Sport Business Law class and Contemporary Sport.

After earning his undergraduate degree, Stauffer earned his Master's in Education with a concentration in sports management. Though his original goal was to become a college athletic director, he secured a different sports-related job in development and fundraising at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. In that role, he led fundraising for athletic initiatives. Stauffer climbed the ranks at Moravian, becoming the Director of Athletic Development/Director of Leadership Giving. After four years, he took a new position at Lafayette College, where he's worked since 2006. In his current role, he oversees major gifts, gift planning, and leadership pipeline development.

Stauffer is passionate about giving back to his local community. Over the years he's been involved in various non-profits, including the Upper Bucks County YMCA board for six years, and the campaign committee of the Greater Lehigh Valley United Way for the last seven. He and his wife of 16 years, Erin, who works as a national account executive for CVS Health, have three children: Kendall 14, Cole, 11, and Carlee, 7. The family enjoys attending football games at Penn State University, from which his wife is a graduate, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the beach at their condo in Ocean City, Md.

As someone who works in fundraising, Stauffer understands many people view donating to a college or university as transactional, but he believes it is a return on investment.

"If you can find something you're passionate about, and align it with the needs of the university, that is when the magic happens. It's a great way to make opportunities that were afforded to you available to someone else, and to honor someone's legacy," he said. "My gift will have an impact on football players at ESU long after I'm gone."