Alumna makes $1 million gift to help liberal arts students find jobs

August 30, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State alumna Cathy Rein has made a leadership gift with a commitment of $1 million from her estate to the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. Her gift will support the network in providing guidance for liberal arts majors on exploring meaningful careers related to their degrees and securing their first job in a challenging marketplace.

With initial college funding from Dean Susan Welch, the network has developed comprehensive services that address the unique needs of liberal arts students grappling with questions about future career paths suitable for their degrees and interests. The latest initiative is the LEAD program, which will help hundreds of students identify business-oriented competencies and develop leadership skills for a competitive edge in the job market. The Leadership Assessment and Professional Development (LEAD) program is a new collaboration between the network and the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program in the Department of Psychology.

Another key goal is to build strong relationships with a wide range of employers in the fields which liberal arts students pursue, including human resources, marketing, business, publishing, criminal justice, public policy, law, and the nonprofit world. Over the next year, the network will be working with liberal arts alumni to establish 100 new internships, expanding its current base.

Rein said, ''Now more than ever, our nation needs talented graduates who are skilled in communicating clearly, working globally, thinking creatively and leading ethically. Business and technology training and knowledge are certainly critical skills sought by employers in business and government, but every sector needs workers and managers capable of innovative thinking to keep up with a rapidly changing workplace.''

Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts, said, "Thanks to Cathy’s generosity, this gift will allow students in perpetuity to significantly enrich their educational experiences. We’re very grateful for her vision in facilitating career development opportunities for liberal arts students through leadership development, internships and study abroad.''

Rein, a native of Lebanon, Pa., is a 1964 graduate with a major in Labor Management Relations. Her successful corporate career spans leadership roles with The Continental Group, Inc., and MetLife, where she served as chief executive officer and president of MetLife's auto and home insurance company. She retired in 2008 as senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Named a Distinguished Alumna and an Alumni Fellow by Penn State, Rein serves on the executive committee of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students and chairs the corporate campaign committee. She is a member of the Liberal Arts Development Council and the Laurel Circle of the Mount Nittany Society.

The Penn State alumna has generously given back to the College of the Liberal Arts in numerous ways such as graduate fellowships, Trustee Scholarships for undergraduates with financial need, and an endowment supporting student development activities. In addition, she has supported many other programs at the University.

Rein is a leading supporter of the current University-wide fundraising effort,. The campaign is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. 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.

  • Distinguished Alumna Cathy Rein

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 10, 2012