Saunders/Walker Trustee Scholarship benefits Ag Sciences students

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A new scholarship created by an alumnus of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and his partner will benefit students in the college with demonstrated financial need.

Mark Saunders and Lynn Walker, of Shelburne, Vt., provided a $50,000 gift to establish the H. Mark Saunders and Lynn M. Walker 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, 2014, 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.

"Four years at Penn State pass quickly, and yet this relatively short period in your life plays an important role in who you become," Saunders and Walker said in a statement. "We've created this scholarship to allow more students to enjoy the experience at Penn State."

Tracy Hoover, associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Agricultural Sciences, said Saunders' and Walker's generosity is greatly appreciated. "The scholarship will go a long way in helping to ease the financial impact of securing a college education for our students."

Saunders graduated from the College of Agricultural Sciences in 1977 with a degree in Animal Science and earned a veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981. During his undergraduate years, he was a manager for the Penn State football team and men's gymnastics squad.

After graduating from Penn Vet, Saunders spent two years as a large animal practitioner in Quakertown before entering the radiology residency program at Penn. He became a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 1986 and earned his master's degree in the Biomedical Studies Group at Penn, studying hemodynamics and Doppler pulsality.

Before moving to Vermont in 2003, he spent 18 years at Penn, leaving as an associate professor. During his last eight years on the faculty, he was chief of the Section of Radiology. He is past president of the Veterinary Ultrasound Society and the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

With a previous gift, Saunders also funded the annual H. Mark Saunders Scholarship in Animal Science.

Lynn Walker grew up in Bethlehem and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her degree in veterinary medicine in 1987 and pursued a radiology residency. She worked as a staff radiologist from 1992 to 2003, helping to train veterinary students, interns and radiology residents while providing clinical service in radiology.

She and Saunders moved to Vermont in 2003, when they formed Lynks Group, a veterinary practice specializing in veterinary radiology. They also are partners at Peak Veterinary Referral Center.

Saunders' and Walker's 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 April 03, 2014