Scholarship has supported the Penn State LGBT community for 15 years

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Barry H. Marshal Scholarship was the first scholarship administered in partnership with the LGBTQA Student Resource Center at University Park. Established in June 2002, the scholarship has provided financial support to more than 20 students attending the University.

The 2017 Lavender Graduation celebration marked the 15th year the scholarship was awarded. Barry Marshal and his partner have attended almost every Lavender Graduation to meet the scholarship recipients.

“It’s nice to meet the students you are helping,” said Marshal. “It’s also just as important to be a role model for the students and give them the opportunity to meet alumni who have achieved success in their career and life.”

Marshal received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Penn State in 1965 and went on to receive a master’s degree from Hofstra University. He is now retired after a successful career in finance and retail. 

“When I started working after college, I really appreciated the education and four years of experience I had at Penn State,” said Marshal. He started giving back by donating $25 to $50 a year. Once he was in a position to make a larger contribution, Marshal endowed the Barry H. Marshal Scholarship to recognize students who advocate for or contribute to the LGBT community. 

Marshal said his interest in focusing on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community stemmed from the fact that there were no organizations or resources at Penn State for LGBT students during his time at the University. And he felt having access to more resources would have benefited him. 

Marshal has kept in contact with several of the scholarship recipients and he enjoys learning of their success. One recipient, Joe Zagame, is the founder and director of a group psychotherapy practice in New York that specializes in working with LGBTQ clients.

“Receiving the Barry H. Marshal scholarship was an honor for me,” said Zagame, who graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2006 and received his master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. “Beyond the financial assistance it provided me, I felt my contributions to Penn State's LGBT community were acknowledged and mattered. The scholarship helped to keep me on the path of working for the LGBT community, which I continue to this day.”

The Barry H. Marshal Scholarship is offered through the LGBTQA Student Resource Center, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs. The center now offers five scholarships that recognize and support LGBTQ students and advocates.

"We are so grateful to Barry and other donors who make it possible to offer financial assistance to our LGTBQA+ students and to recognize the contributions these students are making within to the LBTBQA+ community,” said Sonya Wilmoth, assistant director, LGBTQA Student Resource Center.

Members of the University and community can support LGBTQ students by contributing to this endowment. To contribute visit or contact Andrea Pagano-Reyes, director of development for University Programs, at

Gifts from Penn State’s alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the door to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit

Last Updated June 05, 2017