Liberal Arts alumni board commits $1 million to University campaign

June 27, 2008

University Park, Pa. -- The Alumni Society Board of Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts has voted unanimously to contribute a collective $1 million to the college in support of the University's capital campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.

This is the first time the board has made a commitment of this magnitude, which members hope will serve as an example for their fellow Liberal Arts alumni and other alumni boards across the University. Through their commitment, board members will be able to direct their gifts to the endeavors of their choice within the college.

"To the best of our knowledge, no other college-based alumni society board at Penn State has set an overall campaign commitment anywhere near this magnitude," said Board Chair Katherine Genovese, a 1978 graduate in English. "While some boards are funding scholarships or other specific projects, the vision and dedication by our members to support the college in this way is unparalleled."

The 22-member board is the governing body of the College of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society, a constituent society of the Penn State Alumni Association.

While this is the board's largest commitment to date, it is not the first time that the board has bolstered the College of the Liberal Arts with its generosity. In the 1990s, members of the board committed to endow a scholarship and establish an undergraduate enrichment fund. As a result, more than 60 liberal arts students have received support from these funds. The Alumni Society Board again took the lead in 2004 when it adopted an annual giving expectation of board members.

The board, together with members of its emeritus arm, the Sparks Society, also contributes funds annually to support student-focused programs such as a year-long mentoring program, and several awards that honor alumni for service to Penn State and service to society.

According to Genovese, the board wanted to take their commitment to a new level during the For the Future campaign, recognizing the impact these gifts have made and the ever-increasing need for philanthropy to provide a bright future for Penn State students.

"The board members are well informed about the challenges facing higher education and those particular to Penn State," said Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. "They care deeply about students and faculty, and their generosity sends a strong message to the greater alumni community about the importance of private philanthropy in ensuring that students enjoy the kinds of excellent academic and enrichment experiences that are the hallmark of a Penn State liberal arts education."

The College of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society was formed in 1972. Its board of directors has members from eleven states who represent an array of class years and academic disciplines within the liberal arts. Alumni who have an interest in assisting the board in its support of the For the Future campaign can contact Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Chris Gamble at or (814)-863-1827.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009