Nevins makes landmark $1.1M gift to enhance diversity at Smeal

October 29, 2012

Penn State alumnus David Nevins has made the largest private gift to support scholarships for minority students in the history of the Smeal College of Business. Nevins' $1.1 million commitment will create the Nevins Trustee Scholarship and the Nevins Diversity Scholarship Fund with the goal of promoting the diversity of the Smeal College student body.

Nevins, a resident of State College, Pa., and Estero, Fla., graduated with honors in economics from Penn State in 1969 and received a master's of business administration in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He currently serves as managing general partner of several real estate joint ventures and is owner and president of Nevins Real Estate Management.

“There are many thousands of parents in our country who desperately want to help their children achieve a better life, but financial circumstances make this impossible," Nevins said. "The Smeal College of Business is an incredible school that has provided the foundation for many students from every race, religion, and creed to achieve their dreams. I would like to help more minority students achieve the success I have attained, success that started with my education and experiences at Penn State.”

Nevins said he decided now was the time to move forward with a gift to Penn State.

“Given all that has happened to our community over the past year, I wanted to get involved in supporting Penn State students in a meaningful way, and an important way to demonstrate my pride for this University is through philanthropy.”

Nevins’ community service activities range from local to national. Last summer, he helped spearhead the Centre Region’s community-building campaign known as Together We Are One. He is also active with No Labels, a national grassroots movement of Democrats, Republicans, and independents dedicated to the bi-partisan politics of problem solving.

Charles H. Whiteman, the John and Becky Surma Dean of the college, said, “David has made a very special commitment to Smeal students. His investment will ensure that a Smeal College education brings opportunity for future business leaders from all walks of life. Diversity may mean something different in the future than it does now, but it will always be important to nurture a college community that is inclusive and reflective of the real world. Ultimately, as Nevins Scholars graduate and enter the business world, their influence will be felt in businesses, industries, and communities.”

The Nevins Trustee Scholarship, endowed at $100,000, will begin serving students immediately, and its impact will be doubled by the University’s Trustee Matching Scholarship Program. The million-dollar Nevins Diversity Scholarship Fund will be realized in the future as part of the Nevins estate, when it will begin providing scholarships for students who enhance the diversity of the student body.

Penn State’s 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. In this groundbreaking philanthropic model, Penn State matches 5 percent of the total pledge or gift at the time a Trustee Scholarship is created, making funds available immediately for student awards. This University match, which is approximately equal to the endowment's annual spendable income, continues in perpetuity, doubling the support available for students with financial need.

Nevins’ gift will advance the Smeal College of Business in the current University-wide fundraising effort, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. The campaign is 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. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.

Penn State's Smeal College of Business offers highly ranked undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, Ph.D., and executive education opportunities to more than 5,500 students at all levels. Featuring academic departments of accounting, finance, management and organization, marketing, risk management, and supply chain and information systems, the college is also home to major research centers such as the Center for Supply Chain Research, the Institute for the Study of Business Markets, the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Center for Global Business Studies, and the Center for the Management of Technological and Organizational Change.


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Last Updated November 01, 2012