UNIVERSITY PARK – The Penn State Board of Trustees approved the naming of a recently renovated facility at Penn State DuBois as the Alan R. Fairman House, in honor of a gift from the Fairman Family Foundation, which largely funded the restoration of the building.
Previously referred to as the Honors and Alumni Center, the former residential home provides space on the first floor for campus honors programs, and is open to honors students who may use the space to study, work jointly on projects, host seminars or guest speakers, or take a much needed break in between classes. The second floor houses the campus’ alumni and development offices, as well as marketing and public information offices.
The Alan R. Fairman House was originally a home to family members of John DuBois, for which the town of DuBois was named. The property neighbors the grounds of the lumber tycoon’s former estate, which Penn State DuBois campus now occupies. The Alan R. Fairman House was not originally granted to Penn State with the rest of the DuBois family property and had remained a residential family home until the campus purchased it in 2008.
A renovation, completed in the fall of 2012, brought the facility up to date, while retaining the charm of a stately, late 19th-century family home. Original, authentic woodwork is intertwined with state-of-the-art study and meeting spaces, complete with wi-fi and teleconferencing capabilities. Purchase and renovation of the house was made possible by the generous contributions of private donors, such as those at the Fairman Family Foundation.
“Restoring the Fairman House was a perfect opportunity for us to show our support,” said Foundation representative Joyce Fairman. “We want to see the DuBois campus thrive and continue to provide excellent educational opportunities close to home for local young people and members of our community. The campus also plays a very important role in the local economy by partnering with businesses and providing training programs. It’s especially rewarding to see the honors program occupying an area of the Fairman House. An investment in education can only reap rewards.”
Fairman also noted that the mission of the campus is something that her late husband, the building’s namesake, would wholeheartedly support.
“Alan Fairman believed in giving people a chance, whether in business or through the many sports teams he was involved in. He had a special place in his heart for teaching kids through coaching. A Penn State education gives people a chance for a better life and the opportunity to make the world a better place,” she said.
Penn State Chancellor Melanie Hatch said the campus community is proud to have such a beautiful facility named in honor of a person, and a family, that has had such a large and lasting impact on the region.
“This house is a place for students to study, to learn, and to prepare themselves to be the leaders of tomorrow. It also provides office space for valuable campus functions that support our students’ education,” Hatch said. “The Fairman Family recognizes the importance of all of these things, and for that we are truly grateful.”
This is not the first gift that Penn State DuBois has received from the Fairman Family Foundation. Last year, the foundation funded the establishment of the Anita D. McDonald Endowment Supporting Children and Youth Programs in honor of the retiring DuBois campus chancellor who served from 2003-2012. This endowment supports Kids in College (KIC), The Art, Science and Technology Institute (AST), athletic camps and other Penn State DuBois programs for children and youth.
Through their generosity, the Fairman Family Foundation is helping to support For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014. Penn State DuBois’ individual aim is to raise $12 million by 2014, and the campus is now at 80 percent of that goal.