Scanlon Trustee Scholarship to assist agricultural education students

October 07, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Retired Penn State faculty member Dennis C. Scanlon and his wife, Janet Scanlon, of State College, have given $50,000 to the University to create a Trustee Scholarship for students in the College of Agricultural Sciences who have financial need. First preference for the scholarship, which will be named for the couple in recognition of their generosity, will be given to students majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education.

Dennis Scanlon is professor emeritus of agriculture and extension education at Penn State. Janet Scanlon is a retired teacher and principal in the State College Area School District.

"Dennis and I wanted to establish a scholarship to help give struggling students the motivation to keep on going," said Janet Scanlon. "Knowing that someone cared enough to come forward to help me as a student, made me work a little harder when I became a teacher. It gave me a sense of commitment to follow through. I hope it gives the students we help, the same feeling."

Dennis Scanlon added that the scholarship is important to him because he spent most of his career working with teacher preparation. "It's important to continue to have excellent people for those kinds of jobs because if the jobs become empty and there's no one ready to fill them, they could be cut. We have a good strong agricultural education program in the state, I want to keep that going."

Dennis Scanlon received bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture from Penn State in 1967 and 1971, respectively, and a doctorate from Ohio State University in 1979. He began his career as a professor of agriculture and extension education at the University in 1982 and retired in 2008. He received the 2006 Excellence in Academic Advising Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences alumni society. The award recognizes faculty for outstanding service to students in academic advising, career planning and personal counseling.

Janet Wadsworth Scanlon received a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1966, and a doctoral degree in health and human development in 1990, both from Penn State. She received a master's degree in 1979 from Ohio State University. She taught for six years and then served 12 years as principal in the State College School District, retiring in 2006.

The Scanlons are longtime supporters of the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Penn State public broadcasting.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program is designed to keep a Penn State education accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their financial means. The University matches 5 percent of the principal of each gift annually and combines these funds with income from the endowment to effectively double the financial impact of the scholarship. Implemented in 2002 upon approval by Penn State's Board of Trustees, this unique program assisted approximately 4,600 students University-wide last year.

Last Updated April 06, 2010