Barry Director's Fund will support Paterno Fellows

August 08, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State alumnus Richard “Rick” Barry and his wife, Sue, have made a leadership gift to the College of the Liberal Arts to endow the position of director of the Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program, the college’s honors and leadership initiative.

Named for the University’s longtime head football coach, Joe Paterno, and his wife, Sue, the Paterno Fellows Program is a landmark collaboration between the College of the Liberal Arts and the Schreyer Honors College, offering “an education for leadership” to students who accept the “Paterno challenge.” All Liberal Arts first- and second-year students are eligible to perform their way into the program by pursing rigorous academic requirements. As juniors and seniors, they distinguish themselves as excellent communicators, take on internships or study abroad opportunities, fulfill community service or leadership opportunities, and complete a capstone project that applies their classroom learning to real-world problem-solving. In this way, the program reflects and reinforces the values associated with the Paterno family name, and successful students will graduate with honors from Penn State and be recognized with Honors Medals from the Schreyer Honors College.

Rick Barry graduated from Penn State in 1980 with a baccalaureate degree in political science, and he has had a long and successful career in the financial industry, including prominent firms such as Merrill Lynch and Robertson Stephens Investment Management. Until his recent retirement, Barry served as the managing director and portfolio manager of Eastbourne Capital Management, a California-based hedge fund investment firm he founded in 1999. He is on the board and part owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team and a member of Penn State’s Campaign Executive Committee.

"The Barrys' continued generosity will permit Paterno Fellows to do things they currently can only dream of,” said Jack Selzer, the Barry Director of the Paterno Fellows Program and professor of English. “Hundreds of students will now have the financial means to broaden their global understanding through innovative study abroad, or to expand their career opportunities through expanded internships in major cities. Rick and Sue’s gift also provides critical resources for Fellows to launch research projects for their senior thesis or to work with the top faculty in their laboratories, all experiences that enhance their job market skills or graduate school opportunities.”

“Sue and I feel fortunate that we can make a major difference in the lives of Liberal Arts students at Penn State,” said Rick Barry, a graduate of Hempfield High School in Landisville, Pa. “During my formative years at Penn State Wilkes Barre, I received beneficial mentoring and support from John Murphy, the student affairs director, and many of the campus faculty. I developed lifelong friendships which are still strong today. Sue and I believe the Paterno Fellows Program offers terrific opportunities for Liberal Arts students who are entering a competitive job market, and we are honored to be associated with the program.”

Liberal Arts Dean Susan Welch added, “We are thrilled that Rick and Sue have made such a transformative gift to the Paterno Fellows Program. These students will be inspired to follow their dreams and embrace challenging and fulfilling learning experiences at Penn State and later in their professions and their communities.”

The Paterno Fellows Program website can be found at online.

Previously, the San Rafael, Calif., couple made important gifts to the Abram Nesbitt III Academic Commons and the John R. Murphy Student Services Center at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, where Rick began his Penn State education. Most recently, a major gift by the Barrys created the Steve Jones Student Sports Broadcasting Complex, a state-of-the-art production center at Rec Hall that will offer hands-on experience to students pursuing careers in sports broadcasting.

The Barrys are leading supporters of 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.

  • Rick Barry (right), and his wife, Sue (left), join Jack Selzer (center), director of the Paterno Fellows Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program. Click on the image above for a high-resolution version.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated August 11, 2011