Alumni Association allocates additional $300,000 of $2.1 million gift

University Park, Pa. -- Following up on its seven-year pledge of $2.1 million to support student scholarships across the University, the Penn State Alumni Association allocated the third installment of $300,000 to four campuses, one virtual campus and one college.

This year’s $300,000 gift will fully fund six Penn State Alumni Association Trustee Scholarships for the 2011-12 academic year at:
-- Penn State Beaver: $50,000
-- Penn State Hazleton: $50,000
-- Penn State Mont Alto: $50,000
-- Penn State Wilkes-Barre: $50,000
-- Penn State World Campus: $50,000
-- Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts: $50,000

The recommendation of these six beneficiaries came from the council’s Margin of Excellence Committee and was approved unanimously by the Alumni Council Executive Board.

The selection of the campuses, World Campus and the College of the Liberal Arts extends the Alumni Association’s tradition of benefiting students at Penn State campuses across the Commonwealth and at University Park. The scholarship gift to the World Campus recognizes the increasing number of students from around the world who take Penn State classes online.

“Penn State alumni care deeply about helping current students and ensuring they have access to the same great education we benefited from,” said Barry Simpson ’69, president of the Penn State Alumni Association. “In these trying economic times, we’re committed to helping our ‘future alumni,’ as we like to think of them, afford their Penn State education.”

Proceeds for the gift come from the Alumni Association’s “Margin of Excellence Fund,” an endowment established in 2000 to support major gifts to the University. Since the initial gift from the Margin of Excellence Fund in 2001, the Alumni Association has donated $2.8 million to Penn State from that fund. In addition to last year’s $300,000 gift for student scholarships, recent Margin of Excellence gifts have gone to establish endowments for the Penn State College of Medicine Match Day program (2007), the First-Year Enrichment Program for the Morgan Athletic Support Center (2006), Education Abroad Scholarships (2005), Student Discovery Undergraduate Research program (2004), and a Trustee Scholarship (2003). Other Margin of Excellence gifts have been used to help build the Blue Band practice facility (2002), endow undergraduate scholarships for Commonwealth campuses (2001) and contribute to new lighting for the mall at University Park (2001). In total, the Alumni Association has contributed nearly $15 million to Penn State since 1988, a level of philanthropy by an alumni association unmatched in higher education.

In support of the University’s fundraising drive, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, the total $2.1 million gift will establish 35 Trustee Scholarships, each funded at $50,000 in 12 colleges, at 20 campuses and three additional undergraduate units, as well as gifts to Penn State’s four graduate and professional education entities. The University’s match to all 35 Trustee Scholarships began during the 2008-09 academic year when the initial $300,000 installment was made. As the Alumni Association transfers its $50,000 into each of the scholarships over the next several years, they will become fully funded.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program was established by the University in 2002. It offers a novel approach to providing incentives for securing private gifts to establish new undergraduate scholarships (for which $50,000 is the minimum amount needed). The program matches income from private scholarship endowments with University funds. Thus, a $50,000 gift for this purpose, which would generate approximately $2,500 per year or five percent in spendable income, is matched by an additional five percent or $2,500 from the University every year in perpetuity for this same scholarship.

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Last Updated May 21, 2010