Keep us thriving with your planned gift
Take advantage of numerous tax and financial benefits
Leave a legacy to be remembered by future generations
You are at: Planned Giving > Gift Options > Donor Stories
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
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
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."
An IRA rollover allows people age 70½ and older to reduce their taxable income by making a gift directly from their IRA.