Alumnus' impact drives contributions to internship fund

Classmates and colleagues, acquaintances, friends and even the subjects of his reports who he barely knew at all—a deceased Penn State alumnus who spent his entire career in central Pennsylvania, much of it covering Penn State and the community around the University, brought them all together.

Donations from many individuals, along with a variety of fundraising efforts, made the Pat Boland Memorial Internship Award a reality.

The fund to honor Boland started small. It grew because Boland, who graduated in 1991 with a degree in broadcast-cable and worked his entire career as a radio newsman and personality for Forever Broadcasting in Centre County, made an important impact during his life. He died of cancer in 2011.

The idea for a scholarship fund -- incubated by alumna Sara Ganim of CNN, who earned her Penn State degree in journalism in 2008, and Gary Sinderson of WJAC-TV -- grew quickly as word of the opportunity spread. And, like the funny, interesting and multifaceted Boland himself, the fund reached its $20,000 goal in some entertaining and unexpected ways.

There was a golf tournament -- a miniature golf tournament that included a silent auction -- that raised more than $10,000 in one weekend. There was a collection box in the Beaver Stadium press box, where Boland’s longtime colleagues donated $1,116 on a single game day last fall. Additional fundraising efforts were coordinated by Larry Fall, a 1972 science alumnus.

Eventually, like Boland’s own body of reporting, a lot of dedicated, seemingly small, workman-like efforts grew into something special. At its fully endowed level, the Pat Boland Memorial Internship Award will provide necessary support for communications students completing internships.

“The great thing about an endowment is that it is in perpetuity. Pat’s name will forever be a part of Penn State, the College of Communications and, more importantly, the achievements of many generations of students,” said Kevin Musick, director of development for the College of Communications.

And Boland’s colleagues and friends are not done. Some of the efforts created to bolster the fund will become annual events, and the opportunity for anyone to support Penn State students with donations always exists.

“Getting the fund endowed is great news, and our efforts will continue. The more money we raise, the more students who will get much needed aid,” said Tony Ricciardi of 93.7 The Bus (WBUS-FM), a 2001 graduate of the College of Communications who helped organize some of the fundraising efforts this past year.

Donations to the internship fund may be directed to Musick’s attention at 301 James Building, University Park, PA 16802. Checks should include “Pat Boland Memorial Intern Award” in the memo section.

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Last Updated April 29, 2013