1959 Penn State ag sciences alumnus makes gift to support experiential learning

Susan Burlingame
September 24, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Richard “Dick” Booth wears his love for his alma mater on his sleeve. And on his ankles, legs, head and neck. Sometimes, he even dons the Nittany Lion mascot costume for Penn State alumni events.

That’s why it came as no surprise when Booth decided to support the University in a big way by creating a $72,000 charitable gift annuity to establish the Richard A. Booth Experiential Learning Endowment in Dairy Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences — the college he graduated from in 1959.

Booth consolidated several retirement funds to create one annuity, which will provide him with an income during his lifetime and be used to support the College of Agricultural Sciences in the future.

“I was a 4-H'er and was part of the Bucks County Dairy Judging Team when I was growing up,” said Booth, who worked on dairy farms as a high school student. “I wanted to be a dairyman, and Penn State was the place to go to study dairy.”

After graduating from Penn State with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture, Booth went to work at the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school, New Bolton Center. While there, he earned a master’s degree in animal and poultry science at the University of Delaware, after which he worked in the animal health industry. He worked as a technical specialist as well as in sales and marketing before deciding he wanted a job requiring less travel. He came back to Pennsylvania and took a job with QVC, where he worked for 25 years until his retirement in June 2018.

Now 81 years young, Booth stays busy volunteering for his beloved alma mater. He is a sustaining life member of the Penn State Alumni Association, a committee member for the Ag Alumni Society, and a volunteer and board member for both the York and Lancaster chapters of the Penn State Alumni Association. He recently received the Lancaster County chapter’s Volunteer of the Year Award.

For years, Booth has been a volunteer advocate at Penn State Capital Day, held in Harrisburg each spring. A fan of Penn State football, wrestling and gymnastics, Booth attends as many games and matches as possible and was selected as a member of the 2018 alumni homecoming court.

“I make about 20 trips to State College every year for meetings and games and alumni events,” he said, adding that a few of those trips are made in a Chevy Blazer fully loaded with food for the Lion’s Pantry Food Bank. “I challenge both the Lancaster and York chapters to fill my Blazer, and they do.”

Through the years, Booth has made financial contributions to the Children’s Miracle Network, the Ag Trustee Scholarship Fund, the Blue Band, and other funds at Penn State.

“I don’t give a lot, but I give to a lot, so it adds up,” Booth said, saying his recent planned gift made him a member of the Atherton Society, which celebrates those who make considerations for Penn State through a planned gift.

“Mr. Booth's generous support of students who participate in the Dairy Science Club, the Dairy Challenge Team and our Dairy Cattle Judging Team is a wonderful philanthropic gesture that will benefit our students immensely,” said Terry Etherton, head of the Department of Animal Science. “Penn State is widely recognized, nationally and internationally, for having the best undergraduate program in dairy science, and Mr. Booth's gift will help us sustain this legacy of excellence.”  

“My hope for the endowment is that someday it will pay for travel and incidentals, so we can send the best students for these teams to competitions off campus without regard to financial means,” said Booth. “Maybe someday it will help some of the students who compete overseas too.

“You ask Penn State alumni to explain the aura of Penn State, and they can’t do it,” concluded Booth. “There’s just something about Penn State that connects alumni and, for me, provided opportunities for a lifetime of service.”

The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences represents the foundation of Penn State University and its land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives: Open Doors, Create Transformative Experiences, and Impact the World. Through teaching, research and Extension, and because of generous alumni and friends, the College of Agricultural Sciences is able to offer scholarships to one in four students, create life-shaping opportunities, and make a difference in the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit http://agsci.psu.edu/giving.

  • Booth

    Richard "Dick" Booth '59 shows off his Penn State pride during We Are Weekend 2018.

    IMAGE: Penn State Alumni Association

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 15, 2018