Spaniers increase gift commitment to $1 million

November 21, 2008

University Park, Pa.— Penn State President Graham Spanier and his wife, professor of English Sandra Spanier, have increased their philanthropic commitment to the University to $1 million, the Board of Trustees learned today (Nov. 21).

Board Chairman James Broadhurst announced that the Spaniers have made a new $700,000 commitment, in addition to their previous support totaling $300,000.

“The primary beneficiaries of the Spaniers' giving will include endowments that they had previously created for the Musical Theatre program and the University Libraries,” said Broadhurst. “We are deeply grateful for their generosity to two areas of the University that depend heavily upon private support.”

Peter Tombros, chair of the University's capital campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, noted the Spaniers' commitment will inspire other University alumni and friends.

“When the leadership of the institution makes a gift at this level, it encourages all of us to do our part to make sure the University's faculty and students have the philanthropic support they need,” Tombros said. “Graham and Sandy's latest act of generosity will bolster our campaign, and comes at a time when the national economy is struggling and Penn State students will need help more than ever.”

The Graham B. and Sandra K. Spanier Student Development Fund for the Musical Theatre Program supports scholarships, student travel, and other expenses related to learning and performing in the Musical Theatre program. Penn State's School of Theatre offers a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theatre. Designed to prepare students for entry into the professional world, the program has won international acclaim.

Established by the Spaniers in 1998, the Philip Young Special Collections Endowment for the Libraries supports the purchase of rare books, manuscripts and other materials for the University Libraries' Rare Books Room and Special Collections. The Spaniers created the fund in memory of Young, a world-renowned Ernest Hemingway scholar and Penn State faculty member who was Sandra Spanier’s dissertation director and a great influence on her own career.

Graham Spanier has been president of Penn State since 1995. From 1973 to 1982, he held faculty and administrative posts in the University’s College of Health and Human Development.

Sandra Spanier is general editor of the Hemingway Letters Project, an international effort aimed at gathering and publishing the famed writer's complete correspondence.

  • Sandra and Graham Spanier

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010