Seniors choose Arboretum boardwalk and overlook as class gift

October 27, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's Senior Class Gift Committee announced Oct. 27 the class of 2010's gift to the University: the Marsh Meadow Boardwalk and Overlook at the Arboretum. Seniors so far have pledged more than $19,000 to the project, which will establish a boardwalk and overlook across the James J. and Lynn D. Ramage Marsh Meadow in The Arboretum at Penn State, a 370-acre living laboratory.

"I am extremely proud to announce that the class of 2010 has chosen to fund the boardwalk and overlook," said Mike Lampariello, senior class gift committee overall chairperson. "The boardwalk will serve as a 'front door' for pedestrians entering the Arboretum and contribute significantly to the Arboretum's mission of 'scholarship, research, and education of the natural landscape.' The boardwalk and overlook will provide students, researchers, and visitors the opportunity to gain valuable insight into various ecological benefits through viewing platforms and connections over the meadow."

More than 2,800 seniors cast their ballots last week, in person and online, to vote for one of three proposals: the Marsh Meadow Boardwalk and Overlook at the Arboretum; the HUB Aquarium Maintenance Endowment; and the Public Sculpture and Class of 2010 Endowed Scholarship. The gift selection committee chose those three from about 60 submitted by members of the University community.

"The idea of an Arboretum for Penn State has been discussed since the early 1900s," said Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson, who accepted the gift on behalf of the University. "After years of planning and many generous donations, Penn State's Arboretum formally opened to the public this year. The Class of 2010 has chosen a gift that represents its time on campus as well as the future."

The funding for the class gift comes from seniors pledging all or a portion of the general deposit or making cash gifts. The University holds the $100 deposit during a student's time at Penn State and uses it to cover unforeseen expenses, fees, and emergency costs.

The 2010 Senior Class Gift Committee includes Mike Lampariello (overall chairperson), Amanda Estep (student relations chairperson), Emily Hebner (events chairperson), Jenny Lubkin (marketing chairperson), Kyle Lutes (gift development chairperson), and Alyssa Rosenblum (communications chairperson)., a new blog by the Senior Class Gift Committee to help seniors stay informed about senior year events and Penn State traditions, will follow the progress of the class of 2010's gift.

The tradition of class gifts began when the class of 1861, at its reunion in 1890, gave the University a portrait of Penn State's first president, Evan Pugh, which still stands in the lobby of Old Main. For more information about Penn State's senior class gift program, visit online.

View photos from the event at

  • The 2010 Senior Class Gift Committee, with Rodney Erickson

    IMAGE: Melissa Beattie-Moss

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010