Health and Human Development Philanthropy Council members establish scholarships

May 10, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Several members of the College of Health and Human Development Philanthropy Council have established new scholarship endowments as part of Penn State’s Open Doors Scholarship Program, a component of “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” the University’s current fundraising campaign.

The Open Doors Scholarship Program benefits students who are enrolled in specific Penn State programs — known as Open Doors Programs — which are designed to help students earn their degrees, reduce debt, and excel at Penn State. The programs offer various opportunities to help students who are in different stages of their college education, from those who attended specific Pennsylvania high schools that serve low-income areas (the RaiseMe option), to students making the transition from a Commonwealth Campus to University Park (the Student Transitional Experiences Program or “STEP” option), to students close to graduation who may need a structured program of financial support and counseling to finish their degrees (the Complete Penn State option), and more.

Powers support students who may need financial help completing their studies

Richard and Sharon Power

Sharon and Richard Power have established the Sharon and Richard Power Open Doors Scholarship.

IMAGE: Richard and Sharon Power

Sharon and Richard Power have established the Sharon and Richard Power Open Doors Scholarship with a preference for students who are participants in Complete Penn State. The scholarship will assist students who face an unpaid bill or gap in financial aid that might keep them from graduating.

“I love that you can go anywhere in the world and run into someone from Penn State,” Sharon Power said. “The Penn State network is invaluable. You feel like you belong. We want to support that culture.”

Richard Power added, “Certain students may get through most of their college career and then run out of money. We understand how family systems can change. We felt if we can help those students get to the finish line, we want to do it.”

Dabneys aim to make a difference in a student’s life through contribution

George and Margaret Dabney

George and Margaret Dabney have established the George and Margaret Dabney Open Doors Scholarship.

IMAGE: George and Margaret Dabney

George and Margaret Dabney have established the George and Margaret Dabney Open Doors Scholarship for students participating in RaiseMe, the Pathway to Success Summer Start Program, Student Transitional Experiences Program, Complete Penn State, or Smart Track to Success.

“My wife, Margaret, and I believe it is important that all students are given a fair shot at success,” George Dabney said. “We hope that our scholarship can make a small difference in a young person’s life by decreasing their personal debt load or reducing the number of hours worked in a week so they can focus more on maximizing their Penn State education.”

Bright, hard-working students are the inspiration behind Kerchner Open Doors Scholarship

Jan Kerchner

Janice Ransom Kerchner and James M. Kerchner have established the Janice and James Kerchner Open Doors Scholarship.

IMAGE: Jan Kerchner

Janice Ransom Kerchner and James M. Kerchner have established the Janice and James Kerchner Open Doors Scholarship for students participating in RaiseMe, the Pathway to Success Summer Start Program, Student Transitional Experiences Program, Complete Penn State, or Smart Track to Success.

“These talented, hard-working, and bright students have so much to offer,” Janice Kerchner said. “We must give them the opportunity to be successful in college and as adults in society. Penn State is such a wonderful place for students to pursue a degree, grow and mature, while creating relationships with professors and peers who will be part of their personal network (or lives) for years. I cannot think of a better way to support Penn State than to offer this scholarship to benefit these students.”

Gifts from Penn State's alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University's historic 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 of a public university: Private support will keep the doors to higher education open to hard-working students regardless of financial well-being; create transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impact the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

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Last Updated May 10, 2019