Anonymous donor supports Erie County students with $500,000 gift

Erie, Pa. — An Erie businessman who wishes to remain anonymous has committed an additional $500,000 to an existing Trustee Scholarship at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. The gift will be used to support Erie County students enrolled at Penn State Behrend.

"This individual believes in higher education as a proven method of increasing one’s ability to enter professional fields. He wanted to focus on Erie County students in an effort to address the issue of poverty in the region and to help break that cycle," said Donald Birx, chancellor of Penn State Behrend.

This scholarship now has the potential to assist up to an additional 25 students per year with this $500,000 gift. It will support academically talented Erie County students who demonstrate significant financial need. In 2010, Penn State Behrend’s Trustee Scholarship recipients earned an average grade-point average of 3.49.

"Seventy percent of our students and their families take out student loans to fund their educations. Scholarship support from generous donors like this is a crucial component to our students' educational and financial futures," Birx said. Penn State Behrend has 31 Trustee Scholarships.

The Trustee Scholarship Program is part of an effort by Penn State to secure private support University-wide for undergraduate scholarships. This scholarship program has a unique matching component to maximize these efforts; the University matches up to 5 percent of the income from the gift annually, in perpetuity, effectively doubling the financial impact of the scholarship.

To date, Penn State Behrend has secured nearly $24 million of its $32 million goal for the University’s current capital campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.

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Last Updated June 01, 2011