Penn State Bookstore, managed by Barnes & Noble, launches grant program

March 07, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—The Penn State Bookstore, managed by Barnes & Noble, has launched a new, University-wide grant program to seed new initiatives among students and faculty that will advance the University’s most pressing academic priorities. The program, which will award $825,000 in grants to the Penn State community over the next five years, is part of a $1.25 million philanthropic commitment from the bookstore. The bookstore awarded its first round of grants in February.

“The Penn State Bookstore views itself as an integral part of the Penn State community,” said Steve Falke, regional director of the Penn State Bookstores, who oversees the 28 bookstores throughout the Penn State system. “Through this grant program, we hope to deepen our partnership with the University and extend our commitment to the students and faculty we serve every day.”

Of the bookstore’s $1.25 million commitment, $425,000 will support the Faculty/Staff Forum, the Four Diamonds Fund, and the Library Enrichment Fund, initiatives the bookstore has long supported and sees as central to life at Penn State.

The goals of the grant program, as described by Falke, are to have a significant impact on student and faculty life through relatively small, targeted investments at Penn State campuses across the Commonwealth, in addition to University Park. Each semester, Falke will review applications with the associate vice president for development, and applicants under consideration will be asked to submit a full proposal. Winning projects will receive up to $50,000 each.

The initial focus of the program is to extend teaching and learning beyond the classroom through student and faculty engagement. As University priorities evolve, however, the program will provide the flexibility for the bookstore to adapt its focus accordingly.

“The Penn State Bookstore, managed by Barnes & Noble, has supported Penn State students, staff, and faculty for many years through philanthropy, but this grant program marks an exciting step forward in the Penn State-Barnes & Noble partnership,” said John Dietz, associate vice president for development, who is administering the program with Falke.

The program began accepting applications in the fall and ultimately received nearly 30 funding requests from a range of units. The following initiatives were selected to receive funding:

  • Emergency Assistance Fund – Student Affairs
  • Kirsch Renaissance Fund – Development and Alumni Relations
  • Underwriting for “Unrivaled: The Penn State Football Story” – WPSU
  • Underwriting for “Digging Deeper” - WPSU
  • Libraries’ Open House - University Libraries
  • CIENT Library - Smeal College of Business
  • Metamorphose Project - Penn State Lehigh Valley
  • BEST Robotics Competition - Penn State DuBois
  • Global Opportunities for Nursing - Penn State Schuylkill
  • STEM Dual Enrollment Program - Penn State Wilkes-Barre
  • FaceAge - Colleges of Arts and Architecture, Nursing, and Health and Human Development
  • International Travel for Student-Athletes – Intercollegiate Athletics
  • 2017 Class Gift Campaign (Lion’s Pantry)
  • Underwriting for 2017 THON Streaming - WPSU
  • Digital Week 2017 - College of Communications
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Grants - Center for the Study of Sports in Society
  • Healthy Aging Community Lecture Series – Center for Healthy Aging
  • Global Goals - Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center  

The grant program will begin accepting applications for the next round of awards in May 2017. Please note that capital or facilities projects will not be considered. Contact John Dietz at or 814-865-0965 with questions about the program. 

  • Barnes & Noble, Penn State Bookstore
    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 07, 2017