Alumnus' gifts to support 4-H programs in Centre, Columbia counties

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- An alumnus of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has established two new endowments that will benefit Penn State Extension 4-H youth development programs in Centre and Columbia counties.

With two gifts, each totaling $25,000, Russell Seward, of Benton, Pennsylvania, created the Russell C. and Ann E. Seward Support Endowment for the Centre County 4-H Program and the Russell C. and Ann E. Seward Support Endowment for the Columbia County 4-H Program. Proceeds from the funds will provide supplemental support for the 4-H programs in those counties, which may include support for 4-H educators to attend training opportunities, 4-H youth and adults to attend 4-H leadership events and activities, and recognition for 4-H members including 4-H educational awards.

Seward earned two degrees from Penn State -- a bachelor's degree in agricultural education in 1951 and a master's degree in extension education in 1965. He worked for Penn State Extension for 32 years and retired as county extension director for Centre County.

"I have seen firsthand how 4-H programs allow boys, girls, and youth leaders to grow and develop into confident young men and women," Seward said. "They learn subject-matter and leadership skills that are desperately needed in our community today. It is my desire to provide these opportunities so that our communities' youth can develop into outstanding citizens."

As a retired extension educator, Seward clearly loves the University, Penn State Extension and the 4-H program, noted Craig Altemose, Penn State Extension district director for Centre, Clearfield, Clinton and Lycoming counties.

"Because of his direct connection to the program in Centre County for a number of years, he worked with youth and could see how our 4-H program benefits the youth and the community," Altemose said. "Our 4-H program in Centre County really appreciates his support and is putting the funds to good use."

4-H serves more than 92,000 Pennsylvania youth through clubs, community-service projects and school-enrichment activities. Young people can engage in subjects such as robotics, animal sciences, entomology, plant sciences, family and consumer sciences, forestry, energy, geospatial technology, photography and other topics.

"With guidance from dedicated 4-H extension educators and the commitment and expertise of many volunteers, 4-H helps members develop valuable life skills and become contributing citizens and leaders in the community," Altemose said. "In an era of scarce financial resources, these endowments will help to ensure the continued success of our 4-H programs in Centre and Columbia counties."

Seward has an extensive record of philanthropy with Penn State. His other endowments in the college include the Russell C. and Ann E. Seward Scholarship in Agricultural Sciences and the Russell C. and Ann E. Seward Scholarship for Study Abroad.

He also established two endowments at the Penn State College of Medicine: the Russell C. and Ann E. Seward Work Study Award in Women's Health and the Ann E. Seward Memorial Scholarship in Women's Health, in honor of his late wife, who passed away in 2000.

Altemose noted that interested residents can enhance the impact of Seward's 4-H endowments by making tax-deductible contributions to the funds. Donors can write a check payable to The Pennsylvania State University, indicating either the Russell C. or Ann E. Seward Support Endowment for the Centre County 4-H Program or the Russell C. and Ann E. Seward Support Endowment for the Columbia County 4-H Program in the memo line.

Checks for the Centre County endowment should be mailed to Penn State Extension, Centre County Office, 420 Holmes Ave., Willowbank Building, Room 322, Bellefonte, PA 16823-1488 For more information, the office can be reached by phone at 814-355-4897.

Checks for the Columbia County endowment should be mailed to Penn State Extension, Columbia County Office, 702 Sawmill Road, Suite 102, Bloomsburg, PA 17815-7727. For more information, the office can be reached by phone at 570-784-6660.

Penn State's alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University's land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom; expand the research and teaching capacity of faculty; enhance the University's ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty; and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The University's colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.

Contacts: 
Last Updated March 16, 2016