With the Athletics Center decked out in “blue and white” and alumni and friends adding a touch of “green,” Penn State New Kensington's Chancellor's Gala on Sept. 28 proved to be an excellent vehicle for increasing the funding of student scholarships. The gala, which is a part of the University-wide fundraising effort, "For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students," brought in more than $21,000, a record for the four-year-old event.
The gala featured an evening of dancing, socializing and networking for 120 campus supporters -- donors, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. The theme was "Blue and White Lions Night," and the Penn State spirit permeated the room, as did the sounds of Dr. Zoot and the enthusiasm of Penn State alumnus and men’s volleyball coach Mark Pavlik, who served as master of ceremonies. Guests demonstrated their giving acumen by bidding on auction items, purchasing raffle tickets and acquiring mystery boxes.
"It was an exceptional night and we are thankful for the support that benefits scholarships at the campus," said Donna Speer, director of development. "The community was at its philanthropic best.”
In addition to fundraising, the gala served as a platform for the campus to honor its special donors. The Grable Foundation was named the fourth recipient of the Corporate/Foundation Partner of the Year award. Kevin Snider, chancellor of the campus, presented the award to the foundation for its support of the University and the campus during the past three decades. The inscription on the plaque denoted the organization’s "leadership, support and assistance in the advancement, growth and development of Penn State New Kensington and the surrounding communities." Kristin Burns, associate director for the Grable Foundation, accepted the award on behalf of the foundation. Based in Pittsburgh, the Grable Foundation supports community and youth organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Robert and Lorraine Arbuckle, Robert “Doc” and Linda Mueller, and Suzette Shaffer Schultz were inducted as the 2012 members of the Arch Recognition Society. They join the ranks of 24 alumni and friends who were honored at the gala during the past two years. The donor society's membership is reserved for campus supporters who have contributed a total of $25,000 to the campus.
With a recent estate gift of $100,000, the Arbuckles established the Dr. and Mrs. Robert D. Arbuckle Technology Fund. The campus’ endowment encourages current and future professors and researchers to examine their assumptions about technology and education and imagine new possibilities for bringing them together. The Muellers established the Doc and Linda Mueller Trustee Scholarship at the campus. The $50,000 endowment is a need-based scholarship, and new and current students are eligible to receive the annual awards. First preference will be given to students in the four-year Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology program. Schultz, a former Penn State New Kensington student, pledged $50,000 to create the Shaffer Family Trustee Matching Scholarship. Schultz’s gift establishes the 11th trustee matching scholarship at the campus.
Proceeds from the gala will be added to the Advisory Board's endowed trustee scholarship. Spearheaded by former board President Robin Rarie, the scholarship initiative was established in 2008 as part of the board's leadership gift to the campaign. The scholarship is geared toward upperclassmen who are campus leaders, i.e., Lion Ambassadors, Student Government Association officials and student club officers. The current board, headed by president Al Weber, hosted the gala.
Penn State New Kensington will continue the "For the Future" campaign, which helps create educational, cultural and economic opportunities that campus students and community residents need. The campaign is a University-wide effort to raise $2 billion by June 2014. Penn State New Kensington is responsible for $3 million of the total.
For more on the "For the Future" campaign, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Giving/givetoday.htm.