Verizon senior vice president endows Trustee Scholarship

October 07, 2008

University Park, Pa. — A Penn State alumnus who serves as a senior vice president for Verizon Communications has provided a gift to the University to endow the Eric W. Rabe Trustee Scholarship in the College of Communications.

Eric Rabe, who earned a degree in journalism from Penn State in 1968, directs corporate media relations, serves as strategic public relations counsel to Verizon senior management and is Verizon's principal spokesman on the company's telecommunications business.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program at Penn State, created in 2002 by the Board of Trustees, aims to ensure that a Penn State education is accessible to qualified students, regardless of their financial means. Under the program, the University matches 5 percent of the principal of each gift annually and combines those funds with income from the endowment to effectively double the financial impact of the scholarship.

A $50,000 gift payable over five years or less is the minimum gift eligible for the program. Donors may designate their gift to any campus or college and may specify a major field of study as a first preference. For the Eric W. Rabe Trustee Scholarship, that first preference is a student majoring in journalism in the College of Communications.

During the 2007-2008 academic year, 97 students in the College of Communications earned Trustee Scholarships through the existing endowments. Individual awards ranged from $1,200 to $1,500.

Rabe, honored as a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2005, is a member of the campaign committee as the College of Communications conducts its portion of "For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students," the University's current capital campaign. Rabe previously served as a member of the College of Communications Alumni Society Board.

Rabe has worked for Verizon for 19 years, initially in public relations. Before that, he ran his own corporate public relations consulting firm, proving communications services to Fortune 500 companies. His career also includes experience as an anchor/news director at WTAJ-TV in Altoona, as managing editor of WCAU-TV in Philadelphia and as a Capitol Hill reporter for Metromedia Television stations in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

He lives in Haverford, with his wife Luisa. They have seven children.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009