Mulit-Million Dollar Commitment to Create Endowments, Support Student Athletes

UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State’s College of Engineering and Intercollegiate Athletics have announced a future commitment, valued at $4.1 million, which will establish two endowments in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and also will benefit student-athletes. An anonymous couple has made the commitment as part of their estate plans.

“This commitment exemplifies the remarkable generosity of Penn State’s alumni and friends, who do so much to move the University forward and to build a foundation for success for tomorrow’s students,” said David Wormley, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of the College of Engineering. “Without this kind of private support, we would not be able to provide the first-rate education and undertake the cutting-edge research that we do.”

The donors’ estate gift will create an excellence fund in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics. This endowed fund will provide annual resources that the department head can direct toward areas such as student research opportunities, innovative research or educational projects, and travel expenses for student or faculty to attend conferences. The donors will also establish an endowed scholarship that will support undergraduate and/or graduate students in the department.

“Discretionary funding is enormously valuable for a department,” said Judith A. Todd, P. B. Breneman Department Head Chair of Engineering Science and Mechanics. “Whether it provides seed funds for a new research initiative that needs to show results before it can seek outside funding, or allows undergraduate students to get invaluable experience with real-world research projects, an excellence fund allows us to meet pressing needs as they arise.”

“Scholarship support is equally important,” Todd added, “because it helps Penn State fulfill its land-grant mission of ensuring access to qualified students regardless of their economic background. I am truly grateful that these donors have made such a major investment in the future of our department.”

The portion of the gift benefitting Intercollegiate Athletics is currently designated for the Levi Lamb Fund, the general fund that supports the educational experience of more than 800 student-athletes across Penn State’s thirty-one varsity sports.

“The Levi Lamb Fund is critical to our ability to fund scholarships each year,” said David M. Joyner, acting director of athletics, “so it helps ensure that our student-athletes can maintain the high standards of performance in the classroom and on the competitive field of play for which Penn State is renowned.”

These gifts will help the College of Engineering, Intercollegiate Athletics, and the University to reach the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The campaign is engaging alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University’s tradition of quality. The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. For the Future is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.

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