Penn State Alumni Association membership surpasses 159,000

July 11, 2006

University Park, Pa. -- The largest dues-paying alumni association in the world, the Penn State Alumni Association, gained nearly 3,000 members to reach a record high of 159,063 members for the year ending June 30, 2006.

The Alumni Association grew by 2,921 members or 1.9 percent for the year ending June 30 -- the third year of a three-year membership campaign. During the last three years, the Alumni Association has seen a gain of 12,444 members -- an increase of 8.5 percent.

In addition, the Penn State Alumni Association experienced explosive growth in life membership, adding another 4,385 life members to make the current total 87,043 -- a 5.3 percent growth rate. Life members now comprise 54.7 percent of total membership.

"We have made a concerted effort in the last couple of years to add more life members, and those efforts have paid off," said Lewis H. Gold '59, president of the Alumni Association. "We have been the world's largest alumni association since 1995, and this past year, we have moved into the number one in life members as well. Our gain of more than 4,000 life members should solidify our leadership position."

The Alumni Association also has experienced explosive growth in its student membership through the Blue & White Society. Membership in the Blue & White Society has more than tripled in the past three years, growing from 2,371 in 2003 to 7,547 for the year ending June 30. The Blue & White Society has members on every Penn State campus and active Blue & White Society student groups on eight Penn Sate campuses: Abington, Delaware County, DuBois, Erie, Shenango, Schuylkill, University Park and Worthington Scranton.

"Students are an important part of our outreach effort. These alumni-in-training will soon enough be full-fledged alumni, and we want to make sure that they are active and engaged members of the Alumni Association upon graduation," said Roger L. Williams '73, '75g, '88g, executive director of the Alumni Association. "Blue & White societies are an effective way to ensure that transition."

The Alumni Association now counts as members nearly 35 percent of all addressable Penn State alumni, which number 459,653 as of June 30. That number has grown by more than 6,300 alumni in the last year, up from 453,313 in 2005. While Penn Staters are scattered all over the globe, approximately 40 percent of Penn State alumni live in five metropolitan areas: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Established in 1870, the Penn State Alumni Association strives to connect alumni to the University and to each other, provide valuable benefits to members and support the University's mission of teaching, research and service. For more information about the Alumni Association, visit online.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015