Penn State’s Alumni Association announced today it is pledging $1.5 million to support students at Penn State in the form of a scholarship fund that will be dispersed over the next five years.
The scholarship endowment is part of the “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence” campaign, a fundraising initiative that will soon launch across the university. The idea for the gift was proposed by Alumni Association VP Steven Wagman last year and will come from the organization’s Margin of Excellence Fund, which was created at the beginning of the millennium for such philanthropy.
“We believe in Penn State students collectively as the foundation and future of this great university,” Alumni Association President Kevin Steel said in a release. “This gift provides an opportunity for us to recognize students individually in a way that we hope eases their financial concerns, helps them stay focused academically, and shows them that their alumni family supports their success.”
Spread out over the course of five years, the $1.5 million will be split into $300,000 per year. The first year of the gift will be allocated as follows:
- $100,000 to Penn State Law students who received their undergraduate degree from Penn State.
- $50,000 to set up a general scholarship in the College of Nursing
- $150,000 to the Alumni Association Trustee Scholarship
After the first year, the funds will all go into the Alumni Association Trustee Scholarship, which was founded in 2003 and has since helped more than 230 Penn State students. In order to receive the scholarship, a student must show a need for financial assistance (students who are Pell Grant eligible). The median GPA for scholarship recipients is historically a 3.8, as Trustee Scholars are described as those who make the most of their Penn State education.
“This gift is an example of the impact the Alumni Association has on Penn State and the overall student experience,” Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford said. “Thanks to visionary leadership from Steve Wagman, Kay Salvino (immediate past president), and other volunteers who over the years have laid the groundwork for our philanthropic program, the Alumni Association will increase its direct impact through these important scholarships.”
The largest dues-paying alumni association in the country has long given back to the university and those who make it what it is — students. Penn State’s Alumni Association gifted $2.1 million to the For The Future campaign, which allowed for 35 Trustee Scholarships. It also endowed $150,000 to CAPS last year when the Class of 2016 decided to use their class gift as an endowment to the service.