Scholarship support celebrated at annual luncheon

Penn State DuBois students who have received scholarships to help fund their education had the chance to personally thank many of the people who make those scholarships possible April 9 at the campus' annual Scholarship Luncheon, held at Lifetime Celebrations in DuBois. Each year, donors and scholars alike are invited to the event to get to know one another over lunch. Donors get to see, first hand, the kind of impact they've had in the lives of students, and the students have the chance to explain how critical the scholarships have been in their educational pursuits.

"It definitely helps out, what they give to you," said scholarship recipient Jordan Fairman, of DuBois. "It's great to see that there are people out there willing to support us in getting an education. It means a lot that there are people in the community willing to do this and be so generous." 

A returning adult student from DuBois, Howard Hartzfeld said scholarship support has made it possible for him to pursue higher education. He said, "I have a house, a mortgage, bills; without the scholarship I wouldn't be able to take enough time off from work to go to school. It's amazing because you don't always hear about people giving back these days, but it's awesome that these people who have the ability to do it do give back."

One of those people dedicated to giving back is Robert Umbaugh. He and his wife, Joyce, established a scholarship at Penn State DuBois more than 20 years ago, and have continued to support campus students in a variety of ways since. Umbaugh spoke at the luncheon to offer a donors perspective, and shared his philosophy on giving. He recalled receiving a scholarship when he was a freshman at Penn State DuBois, and the impact it had on him.

"I made a commitment at that time that if I were ever able, I was going to help other people go to Penn State," Umbaugh said. "I don't give money to Penn State, I invest in students. So you can get an education."

Umbaugh also urged students to realize the significance of philanthropy and remember to one day give back themselves. He said, "Remember that someone invested in you when you were young. You have a moral obligation to pay it back." 

Each year, more than $300,000 in scholarship dollars is awarded to Penn State DuBois students through more than 50 individual scholarship funds.

Last Updated April 11, 2014