Liberal Arts alumni board surpasses $1 million fundraising goal

March 28, 2011

University Park, Pa. — The Alumni Society Board of Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts has surpassed its $1 million goal in support of the University's For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. The overall gift includes annual gifts from all of the members since 2007 and major gifts from current and past board members and supports the needs of undergraduates, graduate students, or faculty.

"Our members are thrilled that the board met and exceeded its goal of a collective $1 million to support innovative teaching, research, and service in the college,'' said Beverly Sobel-Redler, president of the board. ''Our commitment was launched right before the worst recession in recent U.S. history, but our members expressed confidence and patience that we would eventually reach the goal. Today, I’m delighted to announce we have achieved the goal with three years remaining in the campaign.''

The 19-member board is the governing body of the College of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society, a constituent of the Penn State Alumni Association. Liberal Arts was the first campus or college alumni society board with a minimum annual giving requirement of each member and,  according to Sobel-Redler, the largest campaign commitment by any other alumni board.

Through this initiative, board members were able to direct their gifts to the programs of their choice within the college. The members hope that a collective gift of this magnitude will inspire other Liberal Arts alumni and other alumni boards across the University to make similar contributions.

This is not the first time that the board has provided generous support to the college. In the 1990s, members of the board endowed a scholarship and established an undergraduate enrichment fund. As a result, more than 75 liberal arts students have received support from these funds. The board, together with members of its emeritus arm, the Sparks Society, also contributes funds annually to support student-focused programs such as a year-long mentoring program, and several awards that honor alumni for service to Penn State and society.

''We deeply appreciate the dedication of our Liberal Arts Alumni Society members, past and present,'' said Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. ''Historically, alumni board members have played a key role in our mentoring program for students and our robust awards and recognition program. Over recent years, the board has been an important component of the college’s pursuit of national excellence and national leadership. Penn State now faces potential cuts of more than 50 percent in its state funding, which is unprecedented. Private philanthropy plays an even greater role in the college’s efforts to provide an outstanding education to our students.''

For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students 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.

The College of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society was formed in 1972. Its board of directors has members from nine states and represents an array of class years and academic disciplines within the liberal arts. Alumni who have an interest in assisting the board in its support of the For the Future campaign can contact Chris Gamble, manager of alumni relations, at or 814-863-2398.


Last Updated March 29, 2011