Alle-Kiski Alumni Society awards $3,000 in scholarships

The Alle-Kiski Society of the Penn State Alumni Association awarded $3,000 in scholarships recently to five Penn State New Kensington students.

The recipients are Gretchen Toy of Kittanning, Pa; Shanna Williams and Corey Zell of Apollo, Pa; and Vanessa Peck and Justin Tinnemeyer of Lower Burrell, Pa. The society's scholarship, currently endowed at $51,000, is funded through the proceeds of the annual alumni golf tournament. In August, the tournament raised a record $6,800 as 83 alumni and friends participated in the 12th annual scramble at the Links at Spring Church.

Toy, a senior corporate communications major in the Honors program, was awarded $1,000. She carries a 3.98 grade-point average and was named outstanding junior in the communications program at the 2011 Academic and Student Achievement Awards ceremony. In addition to her academic prowess, Toy is active in numerous extra-curricular activities, serving as secretary of the Student Government Association, orientation leader, and writer for the Nittany Pride, the campus newspaper. She earned a Chancellor's Fellow award in 2009. The fellows program allows first-year students to collaborate with faculty on specific projects. The initiative provides students with tremendous opportunities to gain "on-the-job" experiences that are rarely found at the freshman level. Toy will graduate in December, a semester ahead of schedule.

Williams is a junior psychology major and received a $500 scholarship from the Alle-Kiski Society. She carries a 3.95 GPA and works in the Academic and Career Success Center where she tutors fellow students in a variety of subjects. Community service is a major part of Williams' off-campus activities. She has volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and the Rachel Carson Homestead, as well Riding for the Handicapped of Western Pennsylvania, an organization that teaches disabled children to enjoy and ride horses.

Zell is the recipient of a $500 scholarship. A junior electro-mechanical engineering technology major, he carries a 3.57 GPA. A cycling enthusiast, he is an active member of the USA Cycling and the National Bicycle League. In addition, Zell is a certified lifeguard.

Peck, a junior business marketing and management major, earned a $500 scholarship. She carries a 3.5 grade-point average while working full-time to pay for tuition. On campus, Peck has served as an orientation leader and participated in THON.

Tinnemeyer received $500 in scholarship money. A sophomore mechanical engineering major, he carries a 3.25 GPA and is active in the community and in his church. He has participated in Relay for Life, Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, VAC Walk for Hunger and Voice of Martyrs. Tinnemeyer is a communion steward and instrumental soloist in his church.

Since 1998, the society has awarded $33,000 to 43 campus students. The amount awarded is expected to rise dramatically in the next few years as the alumni group increases its endowment level by 50 percent over the next three years. Last year, the board of directors approved a motion to donate $25,000 to Penn State's new fundraising campaign.

The society pledged to increase the principal of its Alle-Kiski Society Endowed Scholarship from its current total of $51,000 to $76,000 by June 2014. The philanthropic action was a response to a request by Roger Williams, executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association, for local alumni chapters and campus societies to accelerate the growth of their individual endowments during the University's fundraising effort, "For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students." The society has fulfilled more than 60 percent of the pledge.

Endowed gifts are held by the University in perpetuity. The initial gift is invested and only a portion of the average annual investment return is spent. The remaining income is added to the principal as protection against inflation. The society's scholarship was established in 1992 with an initial principal of $15,000. Six years later, it was fully endowed at $25,000. In addition to scholarships, the society sponsors a variety of campus activities throughout the year, including an alumni tent at the Fall Festival on Oct.1.

Penn State alumni and friends are encouraged to re-connect with the University and campus by attending the Alle-Kiski Society meetings that are held at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at Dingbats Restaurant/Royal Gatherings in the Pittsburgh Mills. The next meeting is Sept. 19.

For a list of previous scholarship recipients, visit online.

For more about the Alle-Kiski Society, contact Bill Woodard, via email or visit online.


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Last Updated September 14, 2011