Cindy King named 2017 Fundraising Volunteer of the Year

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has recognized longtime supporter and philanthropist Cynthia “Cindy” King as its 2017 Fundraising Volunteer of the Year. The award, which recognizes an individual, couple or group who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and leadership in building philanthropic support for the University, was presented to King at a ceremony on Oct. 20.

King is a volunteer on the University Libraries Development Board and a Presidential Counselor, and along with her husband, Jeff King, a 1967 Penn State business alumnus, has made significant gifts to support the Libraries, Smeal College of Business, College of Education and other areas across the University.

“With her consistently positive attitude and her eagerness to get things done, Cindy has been a tremendous asset to the Libraries,” said Dave Lieb, senior associate vice president for development. “She has helped to bring a new level of service to our Libraries board and raised the bar for volunteers across the University.”

After she joined the Libraries board in 2008 as the University began "For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students," King’s impact was felt almost immediately when she made a lead gift to support the Knowledge Commons, a space for collaborative, digitally-driven learning. She helped to secure further support for the Libraries through networking events she held in her family’s restored 18th-century farmhouse in Malvern, Pennsylvania, letters she wrote to potential volunteers and donors, and other forms of advocacy. In 2013, the Kings made a major gift that secured matching funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create the King Family Conservation Endowment, which will continue to support the conservation of the Libraries’ collections in perpetuity. Cindy helped the Libraries to exceed its goal in the "For the Future" campaign, and she continues her service today as the University embarks on its most recent campaign, "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence."

“Cindy truly has made a tremendous impact through her work and has helped to enhance the role that the Libraries play in students’ lives,” said Dean of the University Libraries Barbara Dewey. “Her example is one of unselfishly giving back now so that generations of Penn Staters will be able to enjoy and benefit from the millions of items in our collections far into the future.”

The impact of King’s service and philanthropy has also been felt across the University. In addition to the King Family Conservation Endowment, she and Jeff King have made major gifts to support construction of the Business Building and Early Career Professorships in the Smeal College of Business. The King Family Impact Endowment in the College of Education, created by the Kings in 2013, supports research efforts and intervention programs focused on bullying and social issues concerning elementary and secondary school students. The Kings have also made gifts to Penn State Health and Intercollegiate Athletics, and they are members of the Elm Circle of the Mount Nittany Society, which represents the pinnacle of philanthropy at Penn State.

In addition to her continued service on the Libraries board, Cindy King serves alongside Jeff King and other leading University volunteers as a Presidential Counselor, advising President Eric Barron on major University initiatives, including "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence."

“I have met so many incredible volunteers at Penn State who have not only given countless hours of their time but also generously funded many areas of need here at the University,” said Cindy King. “I am truly honored and humbled to be recognized as a member of this group. I could not be more proud of this University and the legacy it has left not only for my family and me, but to all who have been a part of it.”

Beyond the University, King has served as a volunteer for her church, her daughters’ schools, and other nonprofits near her home in Malvern. She and her husband have three daughters, Karilyn King, Kelley Heyworth and Julie Borelli, a 1994 Penn State health and human development alumna, and five grandchildren: Drew and Sophie Borelli, and Charlie, Matthew and Thomas Heyworth. 

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Last Updated November 14, 2017