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‘A Greater Penn State’ Campaign Raises $2.17 Billion & Counting

On Friday, April 22, Penn State donors and administration convened in the Bryce Jordan Center to celebrate the university’s “A Greater Penn State For 21st Century Excellence” fundraising campaign.

The initiative, which has been active for more than six years, has raised $2,166,032,798 so far, Penn State said, and will continue running until June 30. The campaign originated through President Eric Barron’s efforts to further Penn State’s development.

“Opening the doors of higher education and helping students to graduate on time and on track to success, creating the transformative experiences that help Penn Staters to become leaders, and impacting the world through research, outreach, and service to communities close to home and around the globe — this is what it means to be a truly great public university,” Barron said in a release.

Barron acknowledged that these funds will be incredibly important to President-elect Neeli Bendapudi, who will take office in May.

At the celebratory event on Friday, Board of Trustees Chair Matt Schuyler said that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the fundraising effort was still wildly successful. Eight of the university’s best fundraising years included all six years of the “Greater Penn State” effort. Over the past six years, nearly 700,000 individual donors have supported the initiative, while more than 700 alumni and community leaders volunteered their time and effort for it.

Some of the notable philanthropic efforts include eight-figure gifts to name the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing. The largest scholarship donors in the history of Penn State, Gene and Roz Chaiken, contributed to a College of Liberal Arts endowment.

Other gifts have spearheaded the new Palmer Museum of Art at the Arboretum, Educational Equity Scholarships, improved athletic facilities, and the Invent Penn State initiative. In terms of research, Highmark notably committed $25 million to the Penn State Cancer Institute.

“We have the opportunity not only to break every past record for philanthropy to the University, but also to secure support now that will fuel Penn State’s continued rise through the top ranks of global institutions,” O. Richard Bundy, vice president for development and alumni relations, said in a statement.

While the celebration for the campaign occurred last week, all gifts made through the end of June will be included in the fundraiser’s full and final total.

To learn more about the impact of “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence”, visit the official website.

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a junior in the Schreyer Honors College studying immunology and infectious disease. She is from Mifflintown, PA, a tiny town south of State College. She is a coffee addict, loves Taylor Swift, and can't wait to go to a concert again. Any questions can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter or emailed to [email protected]

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