Alumni society creates scholarship for Ag Sciences students

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Students in the College of Agricultural Sciences who have a demonstrated financial need are the beneficiaries of a new scholarship endowment created by the college's alumni society.

With a $100,000 gift, the group created the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society Trustee Scholarship.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. For Trustee Scholarships created through the end of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students on June 30, Penn State will provide an annual 10 percent match of the total pledge or gift.

This level is an increase from the program's original match of 5 percent, and it is available only for new endowments of $50,000 or more. The University match, which is approximately double the endowment's annual spendable income, continues in perpetuity, multiplying the support available for students with financial need.

"Our alumni society works diligently to coach our students and to provide funds for internships and scholarships," said Barbara Christ, interim dean of the college. "With this Trustee Scholarship, the society is leveraging dollars that will significantly assist our students."

The College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society is a constituent group under the Penn State Alumni Association umbrella. Its mission is to connect, serve and recognize alumni, students and faculty by fostering relationships, commitment and pride. The organization plays a vital role in supporting the college, students and alumni programming.

In addition to the new scholarship, the society's support for students includes its annual Internship Awards program, which recognizes outstanding performance and encourages students to gain practical experience by enrolling in internship courses offered by the college. The society also created the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Scholarship Fund, providing support for students who demonstrate leadership qualities and have a demonstrated financial need.

The society also sponsors the college's Outstanding Alumni Awards and its Armsby Honor Society. In addition, the alumni organization was instrumental in the founding of the Pasto Agricultural Museum, which it continues to support.

"As a student, I received financial assistance through scholarships, and a number of our board members were scholarship recipients as well," said Roxanne Molnar, president of the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society. "Knowing that others believed in us and helped us to receive a world class education is humbling.

"One of the society's top priorities for the college is supporting our students," she said. "Creating this scholarship allows us to give back and assist the next generation -- the future of our agricultural industry."

The alumni society gift will help the College of Agricultural Sciences to achieve the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort 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 March 17, 2014