Alumni couple gives $1 million to support Liberal Arts initiatives

January 20, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State alumni Linda and Jonathan Strumpf have given $1 million to support initiatives in the College of the Liberal Arts. The gift will endow an early career faculty professorship in economics; graduate student scholarships in the Department of Psychology's Child Study Center; and their third Trustee Scholarship for undergraduates who have financial need.

Linda Strumpf, a 1969 economics graduate of Penn State and a 1972 MBA graduate of New York University, serves on Penn State's Board of Trustees. She is chief investment officer of the Helmsley Charitable Trust in New York, an organization that aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in health and medical research, human services, education and conservation. She recently retired as vice president and chief investment officer of the Ford Foundation after 28 years of service.

Jonathan Strumpf is a 1969 psychology graduate of Penn State, and earned a Ph.D. in school psychology from New York University. He is a psychologist at Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills, N.Y.

"We are excited about the College’s campaign for national leadership and want to support faculty, graduate students and undergraduates in their pursuit of excellence,” said Linda Strumpf. “Our Penn State liberal arts educations enabled both of us to have wonderful careers dedicated to helping other people, and in return, we want to uplift the next generation of great teachers and scholars.”

Each portion of the overall gift will leverage additional support from the University and the College of the Liberal Arts. The University is providing matching funds for the Trustee Scholarship and for the early career faculty professorship. Also, the Strumpfs are the inaugural donors to a new Liberal Arts Centennial Graduate Matching Challenge. The college will match the annual yield for newly created graduate endowments, which in effect, will assist more graduate students.

Susan Welch, dean, said, “I am confident that the Liberal Arts Centennial Graduate Matching Challenge will stimulate new support for graduate education, which is critical to further advance our goal of national leadership. We are very grateful for Linda and Jonathan’s leadership in this area and their generous support of our faculty and undergraduates, too.”

Previously, the Strumpfs created two other Trustee Scholarships and an earlier undergraduate scholarship, all in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Linda Strumpf was honored by Penn State as an Alumni Fellow in 1997 and a Distinguished Alumna, the highest honor the University can bestow on its graduates, in 1999. She serves on the University’s Investment Council.

Last Updated January 27, 2010