University Park, Pa.—Penn State's 37th annual Renaissance Fund dinner has raised more than $216,000 to endow scholarships in honor of philanthropist, community leader, and former Nittany Lion Club executive director Kay Kustanbauter, this year's Renaissance Fund Honoree. Four hundred guests attended the Nov. 14 dinner at the Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus.
“The University is deeply grateful to Kay and the donors who have chosen to honor her through their gifts,” said Rodney P. Kirsch, senior vice president for development and alumni relations. “The Kay F. Kustanbauter Renaissance Scholarship will make a tremendous difference to students who could not otherwise afford a Penn State education, and it will celebrate all that Kay has done for our University and our community.”
The annual event raises money for Renaissance 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. Since the Renaissance Fund's inception in 1969, the total endowment has grown to nearly $11 million. To date, 435 scholarships have been awarded for the 2013-14 academic year.
The Renaissance Fund announced Kustanbauter as this year’s honoree in early August. Kay served for 16 years as the executive director of Penn State’s Nittany Lion Club, where she helped grow the organization’s donor base from 800 members to more than 20,000. She worked in various roles with the Nittany Lion Club and the University for more than 40 years before her retirement in 2005.
Beyond her professional work, Kustanbauter also has maintained a strong relationship with Penn State through her philanthropy and service. She has made gifts to Penn State University Libraries, the College of Arts and Architecture, and Intercollegiate Athletics, among many other areas. Her support is recognized with membership in the President’s Club, Atherton Society and Mount Nittany Society. She has served on the boards of Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts, Penn State Centre Stage, and the Penn State All-Sports Museum and on committees supporting For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students and the Pink Zone at Penn State.
Kustanbauter’s philanthropy and service have also extended to the broader community. She currently serves on the boards of Youth Service Bureau and Centre Foundation and contributes her time and resources to the Mount Nittany Medical Centre, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, and the Women’s Resource Center.
Gifts to the Kay F. Kustanbauter Renaissance Fund will help the University to reach the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, which 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.
To learn more about the Renaissance Fund program, contact Kathy Kurtz in the Office of Annual Giving at 814-863-2052.