Alumna Zlatkus establishes Trustee Scholarship at Smeal

March 12, 2012


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State alumna Lizabeth Zlatkus has committed $50,000, which includes employer funds donated in her honor, to establish the Lizabeth Herbst Zlatkus Trustee Scholarship in the Penn State Smeal College of Business. With support from the University's Trustee Matching Scholarship Program, the gift's impact will be doubled, effectively resulting in the equivalent of a $100,000 scholarship fund for undergraduates with financial need.
"Liz has been committed to the success of Smeal students for years, always giving generously of her time to participate in a variety of student events as a guest speaker, mentor, and executive judge," said James B. Thomas, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. "With this scholarship endowment, she is furthering her commitment to our students, allowing those who otherwise may not be able to finance their education to pursue a Smeal degree without worrying about how they're going to afford it. I am very grateful for her generosity."
Zlatkus, a 1981 graduate of Smeal with a bachelor's degree in accounting, is the retired executive vice president and chief risk officer of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. She joined The Hartford in 1983 and held a variety of positions in finance, risk, and profit and loss management. Prior to her role as executive vice president and chief risk officer, Zlatkus had served as executive vice president and chief financial officer. She retired from The Hartford in late 2011.
In 1999, she was a member of The President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, and she has also served on the HP Financial Services Board of Advisors. She served as regulatory chair of the North American Chief Risk Officers Council, and she is currently a member of the Connecticut Science Center Board of Trustees. Business Insurance magazine named her as one of the top 100 women executives in 2000 and 2006, and the Hartford Business Journal named Zlatkus one of its Eight Remarkable Women in 2008. In 2009, the Connecticut Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation named her Community Leader of the Year.
Zlatkus is a member of the Smeal College of Business Board of Visitors, and, in 2003, she was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow, the highest honor bestowed by the Penn State Alumni Association. She and her husband, Richard Zlatkus, a 1980 graduate of the Eberly College of Science, have three children.
The 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.
The Lizabeth Herbst Zlatkus Trustee Scholarship will help the Smeal College of Business to reach its goals in For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort 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.
For more information on the For the Future campaign, visit


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Last Updated March 13, 2012