Penn Staters raise $214,000 to support students during One Big Week

September 23, 2021

In a seven-day fundraising race across Big Ten institutions, Penn Staters from around the world led the way by making more than 2,900 gifts and raising $214,000 to support student emergency funds during One Big Week.

“The generosity of this community is inspiring,” said Jenny Daigle Benoit, executive director of annual giving at Penn State. “Penn Staters continue to prove that they are there for each other no matter the size of the challenge.”

Running from Sunday, Sept. 12 through midnight on Saturday, Sept. 18, One Big Week challenged Big Ten schools to raise as much support for their student communities as possible before the week ran out. Collectively, Big Ten universities raised over $600,000 from more than 5,800 gifts. Penn State supporters drove overall event success, contributing half of the total gifts and more than a third of the total dollars raised.

At Penn State, alumni and friends were invited to support the University-wide Student Care & Advocacy Student Emergency Fund or to make a gift to an emergency fund benefitting students at one of Penn State’s college or Commonwealth Campus locations. With gifts coming from 18 countries, more than $150,000 of the $214,000 raised will help to replenish the nearly exhausted Student Care & Advocacy Student Emergency Fund, and all funds will advance the University’s continuing efforts to increase support for student food and housing insecurity.

“We asked our community to channel their school spirit into student support and the result is a true testament to the power of the ‘We Are’ spirit,” said Rich Bundy, vice president for development and alumni relations at Penn State. “We are one community with a shared commitment to our students. Our work to ensure the wellbeing and academic success of every Penn Stater doesn’t stop today, but with collective support like what we witnessed during One Big Week, we can continue to turn our aspirations into action.”

Gifts made during One Big Week will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hard-working students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit

Last Updated September 23, 2021