Dinner raises more than $84,000 for Renaissance Scholarships

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's 33rd annual Renaissance Fund dinner has raised $84,085 to endow scholarships in honor of former State College superintendent Patricia L. Best, the 2009 Renaissance Honoree. More than 275 guests attended the Nov. 4 dinner at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on the University Park campus. 

The annual event raises money for Renaissance Fund scholarships, which are awarded to academically talented Penn State students who have great financial need. The dinners honor community leaders, and contributions are used to endow scholarships in their names.

The Renaissance Fund announced Best as this year’s honoree in early October.

Patricia Best’s three decades of service to the school district and the community began in 1977 with a year at the State College Area High School as a substitute English teacher and culminated in her appointment as superintendent of schools in 1999. As superintendent, Best was responsible for the annual education of more than 7,200 students and leadership of 1,400 faculty and staff. She retired from the school district in June 2009.

She has been involved with and held leadership positions in many community and educational organizations, including Leadership Centre County and the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, where she served as board chair from 2006-08. In 2006, she was elected state president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

Best has been a key supporter of partnerships between the school district and Penn State’s College of Education, and serves on several University boards, including the College of Education Alumni Society and Penn State Outreach. She holds a doctorate from the University in counselor education.

Since the Renaissance Fund's inception in 1969, the total endowment has grown to more than $8 million. So far 419 scholarships have been awarded for the 2009-10 academic year.

For more information about this year's Renaissance Fund honoree, visit http://live.psu.edu/story/42012 online. To learn more about the Renaissance Fund program, contact Kathy Kurtz in the Office of Annual Giving at (814) 863-2052.

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Last Updated April 06, 2010