Alumni endow Hoffman DeGrandi scholarship in College of Ag Sciences

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State alumni Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman and Richard F. Hoffman, of Tucson, Ariz., want young people to have the same educational opportunities that helped them become successful. That was their core motivation in creating a new scholarship in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The couple's $50,000 commitment will endow the Hoffman DeGrandi Family Scholarship, which will assist undergraduate students who have financial need.

In establishing the scholarship in memory of their parents, DeGrandi-Hoffman and Hoffman said they wanted to ensure that the value of education emphasized in both of their families lives on and that other dedicated and deserving students can have the same opportunities to succeed in life that their parents gave to them.

DeGrandi-Hoffman's father, Ateneo DeGrandi, emigrated from Italy and became an American citizen. He married Mary DeLuca, and even though they had little money and no more than a sixth-grade education, they worked hard to be able to send three of their daughters to Penn State.

DeGrandi-Hoffman earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1975 and a master's degree in entomology in 1980, both from Penn State. She continued her education at Michigan State University, receiving her doctorate in entomology in 1983. She currently is the director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service's Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, Ariz.

DeGrandi-Hoffman is a Penn State Alumni Fellow, a member of the College of Agricultural Sciences' Armsby Honor Society and received the college's Outstanding Alumna award.

Hoffman's parents, Fred and Jeanne, lived in State College while Fred earned his Penn State degree in mechanical engineering on the GI Bill in 1950. In 1975, their son, Richard, received a bachelor's degree in pre-med from Penn State, and in 1980, he earned his medical degree from Temple University. He is employed by the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, serving as the medical director for the Rehabilitation and Transitional Care Line.

Gloria and Richard said their families are testaments that hard work and dedication change lives.

"Our parents are proof that the American Dream is real," they explained in a statement. "And with this scholarship our hope is that other students, hardworking and dedicated, may know that the American Dream can be real for them, too."

The Hoffman DeGrandi Family Scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll in the College of Agricultural Sciences at the University Park campus who have a demonstrated need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses.

The University will make annual additions to the spending account for this scholarship equal to 5 percent of the initial principal. The University also will match at 5 percent any additional contributions to be made to this fund as long as institutional funds are available and dedicated to this purpose.

Last Updated November 20, 2012