Trustees approve merging Renaissance Fund

May 15, 2009

University Park, Pa. — For nearly 40 years the Renaissance Fund, through private support, has provided scholarships to Penn State students who showed academic promise and had great financial need.

The University’s Board of Trustees Friday (May 15) approved a plan to merge the Renaissance Fund, created as a nonprofit entity in 1969, with Penn State.
Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Rodney P. Kirsch explained that the change was being made because a separate entity was no longer necessary from a legal or fiduciary standpoint.

“These administrative changes will not impact the strong tradition of volunteerism and philanthropy associated with the Renaissance Fund,” he said. “The Renaissance Fund Advisory Board will continue providing valuable direction on program activities and counsel on the use of the fund’s assets for financial aid to Penn State undergraduate students.”

Penn State’s Board of Trustees formed the Renaissance Fund as a nonprofit group through which to collect philanthropic donations for the education of low-income students. A precursor to federal-aid programs, the fund represented an effort to expand access to higher education.

The fund is co-mingled into the general endowment of the University and managed by the Penn State Investment Council.

Each year, the Renaissance Fund honors an individual or couple who, through a lifetime of service, has contributed greatly to the Penn State and State College communities. In its selection process, the advisory board seeks to recognize individuals who have deep roots in the Centre Region, close relationships with civic and University leaders, and a commitment to philanthropy.

An annual dinner raises money in an honoree's name. Contributions are then used to endow Renaissance Fund scholarships.

During the 2007-08 academic year, Renaissance Fund scholarships totaling $587,500 were awarded to 484 scholars. More than 50 percent of these students are the first in their family to attend college.

For more information, contact Kathy Kurtz in the Office of Annual Giving at (814) 863-2052 or e-mail

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(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010