Miller and LaVigne create Trustee Scholarship

March 14, 2008

University Park, Pa. -- Bruce R. Miller and Dean D. LaVigne have endowed a Trustee Scholarship to assist Penn State undergraduates who have financial need. The donors have directed that first consideration be given to students who advocate for or contribute to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally (LGBTA) community.

Bruce Miller, a 1971 Penn State graduate in political science, chairs the College of the Liberal Arts development council and is a vice chair and member of the executive committee of the University's recently launched fundraising effort, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.

“I believe an increasing number of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds fail to apply to Penn State because they think they're unable to afford the cost," said Miller. "Students who are academically eligible for admission but who require significant financial assistance should not be denied a Penn State education. We wanted to extend a helping hand to capable students who might not otherwise be able to afford to come to our great university, and we are able to accomplish this through the Trustee Matching Scholarship Program."

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program is designed to keep a Penn State education accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their financial means. The program has a unique matching component-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, the program assisted nearly 4,400 students in 2006-07.

"This is the first Trustee Scholarship available in Student Affairs and is particularly important because of the unique benefits it brings to students and the LGBTA Student Resource Center," said Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Gail Hurley. "This visionary act of philanthropy will open new opportunities to countless students in the years to come who may otherwise not have the resources to make their academic dreams a reality. We are very grateful that Bruce and Dean are continuing to ensure that this learning experience is available to LGBT and Ally students."

Recipients of the Miller and LaVigne Trustee Scholarship will be identified by the University's Office of Student Aid in coordination with the Office of Student Affairs scholarship committee and the director of the LGBTA Student Resource Center.

Miller is founder and retired president of Employee Benefits Corp. of America, a group health insurance brokerage firm headquartered in McLean, Va. He received the College of the Liberal Arts Service to Penn State Alumni award in 1998, the Penn State Alumni Association's Alumni Fellow award in 2004, and was named the University's Fundraising Volunteer of the Year in 2005.

As a Penn State volunteer, he also serves on the For the Future campaign's athletics campaign committee and is a member of the board of visitors of the Department of Political Science.

Partner Dean LaVigne is retired owner of an interior and exterior plant design and installation business, Plant Parenthood.

Miller and LaVigne are longtime Penn State benefactors. Their most recent gift to the University, made last year, was the establishment of the first endowed professorship in the Department of Political Science.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009