Brook J. Lenfest creates $7 million Trustee Scholarship for Philly students

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —Philanthropist Brook J. Lenfest has committed $7 million to Penn State through his foundation to create the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation Trustee Scholarship to benefit Penn State students from the Philadelphia area.

The scholarship is intended to help students who have significant financial need and have graduated from the Philadelphia School District. First preference will be given to students who have graduated from a Mastery Charter School or participated in the Philadelphia Futures program, and second preference will be for students who have graduated from a Philadelphia public high school. The scholarship will fund students in any major at Penn State University Park.

“This Trustee Scholarship represents an incredible commitment to this critical student population,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “Brook Lenfest has been a longtime partner with Penn State in providing educational opportunity for students from the Philadelphia area, and his new scholarship will ensure that many talented students will not be turned away from their college dreams because of financial circumstances. We are exceedingly grateful to Brook for his visionary philanthropic leadership, his commitment to promising young scholars from Philadelphia and this extraordinary investment in their futures.”

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 established through 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 Brook J. Lenfest Foundation Trustee Scholarship will receive the annual 10 percent match from University funds on the $7 million pledge. 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.

“No hardworking student should be prevented from receiving a college degree because they cannot pay, and that is why I am partnering with Penn State to provide financial opportunity to some of the most financially challenged students in Pennsylvania,” Lenfest said. “Many Philadelphia students have the aptitude to receive a four-year degree but simply cannot afford it. The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program presented a great opportunity to help this student population by leveraging funds from the University. I hope together we can increase the successful outcomes and help many more of these students succeed in the future.”

Brook Lenfest serves as chairman of NetCarrier Inc., a leading and integrated communications service provider. Lenfest is also an accomplished real estate investor and developer actively managing projects in Wyoming, Florida and Pennsylvania. Lenfest is the director of philanthropy for LGL Partners, a private family office and investment firm for multiple families and institutions.

His foundation previously partnered with Penn State in 2002 to create the Lenfest Scholars Program to assist eligible low-income Philadelphia public high school students who show motivation and academic ability to attend Penn State and succeed in their life pursuits.

The Brook J. Lenfest Foundation Trustee Scholarship will support For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, an effort 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.

Contacts: 

Wil Del Pilar

Director of Development, Educational Equity

Last Updated May 28, 2014