Penn State World Campus text campaign to benefit military and veteran students

November 04, 2013

The cellphone text-to-give campaign is part of Penn State’s activities in November to celebrate and support military and veteran students during Military Appreciation Month.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s World Campus will launch its first-ever cellphone text campaign during the Nov. 16 Penn State-Purdue football game to raise funds for the World Campus annual Military Student Fund, which helps currently serving military personnel (active, Guard and Reserve) and veteran students enrolled online in Penn State educational programs with expenses not covered by their military education benefits. During the game, Nittany Lion football fans will be asked to text keyword MILITARY to 50555 to donate $10 to the fund.*

One fund beneficiary is Air Force Capt. William Heitshusen, a pilot stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. He is enrolled in the online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security – Geospatial Intelligence Option, offered in partnership with the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. “I am very thankful for the support I receive through the fund. Penn State World Campus provides the unique opportunity to pursue an advanced degree from a world-class institution completely online. I have been able to take classes while away from home on missions and even continued my education while deployed to a combat zone.”

U.S. News has ranked Penn State University Park the No. 1 national university for veterans.

Other military and veteran students can benefit from this fundraising campaign, too, such as Marine Corps veteran Mandi Douglass, who is enrolled in the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, offered in partnership with the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs. “Two months from graduation, my G.I. Bill benefits will end,” said Douglass, who lives in San Antonio, with husband Deylon, who serves in the Army, and children GiAna and Malakai. “I chose the World Campus, because online learning works around my schedule,” added Douglass, who was deployed to Kuwait during the Iraq War.

For Mark Kennedy, of Aliso Viejo, Calif., who was an undergraduate at University Park campus in the 1980s prior to joining the Marine Corps, the World Campus offered the chance to continue his education. Now married to Jill and the parent of Mark, Ryan, Jacqueline and Braeden, Kennedy reconnected with Penn State after attending a football game. “My military adviser helped me with my education game plan,” said Kennedy, who is taking business courses with the help of the World Campus military grant-in-aid. He also serves in the Marine Corps Reserves and works as an independent financial contractor.

Learn more about World Campus programs at

*A donation of $10 will be made to Renaissance Charitable Foundation benefiting Penn State World Campus. Charges will appear on your wireless bill or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full terms are at here, to see the privacy policy.

  • World Campus Marine Corps Veteran Mandi Douglass

    Marine Corps Veteran Mandi Douglass of San Antonio, Texas, is enrolled in the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, offered in partnership with the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs and delivered online by the World Campus. She is shown with her children Malakai and GiAna.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • World Campus Marine Corps Reservist Mark Kennedy

    Marine Corps Reservist Mark Kennedy of Aliso Viejo, Calif., is taking online business courses and considering enrolling in an online master’s degree program through the World Campus. He is shown with his son Ryan.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • World Campus text campaign
    IMAGE: Penn State
  • World Campus logo blue
    IMAGE: Penn State
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Last Updated July 12, 2021