Jinnie and John Chapel make $1 million gift for executive internship program

Penn State alumna Virginia 'Jinnie' Todd Chapel and her husband, John, have made a leadership gift of $1 million to support premium internships, particularly in the private sector, for Liberal Arts students who excel academically and who seek high-quality career development opportunities. Their newest gift will create The Virginia Todd Chapel Executive Internship Program, in partnership with a student enrichment fund established by the Chapels with an earlier gift of $1 million. When fully funded, the $2 million endowment will provide $5,000 internship awards to nearly 20 students each year, under the direction of the Career Enrichment Network, in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Susan Welch, the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts, said, "Jinnie and John’s magnanimous gift will greatly enrich the educational experiences of many of our students. The changes in the U.S. and global economies have demonstrated the need for our students to pursue internships and other career development experiences in order to land that first job in a very competitive market. We’re very grateful for the Chapels’ visionary leadership and commitment to the future success of the most promising students in our college.”

Jinnie Chapel said, “We believe it’s critical for students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world through internships in order to better shape their future directions. Internships enable students to utilize their liberal arts skills of thinking and communicating in a wide variety of settings, and to broaden their networks of business professionals and mentors. When John and I attended college, we had to rely on scholarships and part-time jobs to afford our education. We are delighted to assist hard-working and ambitious students who have done well in their studies, but lack the resources to pursue high-level internships, particularly those in major cities.”

The Chapel Executive Internship Program will provide significant funding to support substantive internship experiences for Liberal Arts Students. This funding will be awarded on a competitive basis, with preference given to students doing internships for credit and who have completed the Leadership Enrichment through Assessment and Development (LEAD) program. LEAD works with students to assess their leadership strengths and areas of improvements in order to better navigate the competitive job markets and advance their career opportunities. The program is a collaborative effort between the Career Enrichment Network, Penn State Career Services, and the Industrial and Organizational Psychology graduate program. More information on the Chapel Executive Internship Program is at: http://laus.la.psu.edu/network/funds/chapel

Jinnie Chapel is a 1965 graduate with a degree in English; she also was a merit scholar and an awardee of a Pennsylvania State Scholarship. Jinnie had a successful career with the management consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton and later became a partner in LeapFrog Solutions, a marketing communications management firm, based in Fairfax, Va.

John Chapel is president and CEO of White Hall Capital LLC, a northern Virginia-based private equity investment firm. He is a prominent venture capitalist and corporate leader with an exceptional record of successes with companies like Aviel Systems Inc. He sits on the boards of directors of several technology and investment firms as well as the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Drexel University, his alma mater. 

Jinnie is a member of the Liberal Arts Development Council. The Chapels are Liberal Arts Leaders and members of the Laurel Circle of the Mount Nittany Society, one of the University’s highest recognition societies. As the inaugural donors to the Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program, they made a transformative gift that empowered the college to offer an innovative education in academic excellence and leadership to all of its students. Today, the Paterno Fellows Program is a unique partnership between the college and the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. The program has 160 graduates, and more than 150 juniors, 200 sophomores, and 400 incoming freshmen who are pursuing the Paterno Fellow recognition this fall.

The Chapels also are supporters of the University Libraries as well as major benefactors of Drexel University.

The Chapels are leading supporters of the current University-wide fundraising effort, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. The campaign is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State’s alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University’s tradition of quality. The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014. 

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Last Updated September 05, 2013