Investing in the future: That’s what Penn State Behrend has always been about. Since the day of our founding nearly seventy years ago, we have been steadfast in our focus on the success of our students and the advancement of the Erie region.
Today, we educate nearly 5,000 students from thirty-two states and twenty-four countries. We are among the top ten institutions in Pennsylvania for return on tuition investment. Our School of Engineering is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top thirty undergraduate engineering programs in the country, and our Black School of Business is listed among the best business schools by both U.S. News and The Princeton Review. We are the region’s only research institution and the local leader in outreach programs.
Success is not without its challenges, though, and foremost among these is the financial need of many of our students. Although 82 percent of our students meet the criteria necessary to be awarded financial aid, just 14 percent of our students receive aid in the form of scholarships, which helps close the financial gap for many of them.
Recognizing the pressing need to increase access and affordability for all those who want a Penn State education, the University has created a matching scholarship program providing unprecedented matches of 1:1 and, in some cases, even 2:1. If the idea of doubling or tripling the impact of your philanthropy interests you, we invite you to invest in Penn State Behrend students.
Scholarships are a critical element of a new University fundraising campaign known as A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence. With the support of alumni and friends, this campaign aims to Open Doors, to Create Transformative Experiences, and to Impact the World. We hope you’ll join us in this effort.
Through this report, we are pleased to recognize and thank the individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations that have invested in us in our most recent year of giving. Your generosity in turn strengthens our capacity to invest in our students and the region we serve. If you’d like to talk about the impact your philanthropy could have on Penn State Behrend students, please call us at 814-898-6159 or email [email protected].
Private support can not only bring talented students from every background to Penn State—it can help them graduate on time and on track to successful careers and lives. The goal is to ensure every student, regardless of heritage or financial well-being, has access to a timely degree and true Penn State experience. The Dr. and Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust Trustee Scholarship for Nursing and Science and the Petersen Family Trustee Scholarship are among the scholarships opening doors to Behrend students.
Create transformative experiences
Philanthropy can provide the opportunities—on campus and in the larger world—that let students discover their full potential and make a difference. For nearly twenty years, the John K. Henne Endowment for International Study has supported Behrend students learning around the world. More recently, the Hudson Companies Endowment, funded by the owner of Hudson Lofts student apartments just off campus, began funding student participation in community service programs like Alternative Spring Break.
Impact the world
With the visionary gifts of alumni and friends, we can tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems, including fundamental challenges associated with human health and well-being. Through the generosity of the late Susan Hirt Hagen, CORE (Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation), the center that bears her name, promotes teen pregnancy prevention and positive youth development. At the same time, a recent gift from the Orris C. Hirtzel and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation has enabled the college to upgrade equipment and technology used to educate nursing students, helping to meet the local demand for new nurses.
Yahns Establish Scholarship
Greg and Heather Yahn of Fairview, Pennsylvania, are among the first of Penn State Behrend’s alumni and friends to capitalize on the University’s newest matching scholarship programs, establishing an endowment to benefit Penn State Behrend students. Greg 85, 99 M.B.A., president of Advanced Finishing USA, and Heather 00 M.B.A., principal with HAY Consulting, leveraged the matching funds of the First-Time Endowed Scholarship Donor program to double the impact of their gift in support of students in financial need.
Erie Insurance Scholarships Reward Leadership
Erie Insurance Group established a Leadership Scholarship in 2000 to support students who are working toward degrees in a number of business, computer, and math-related programs at Penn State Behrend and who also demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities. To date, 144 awards totaling nearly $240,000 have been made to qualifying students. That includes these 2017-18 recipients who gathered recently with representatives of Erie Insurance for a celebratory dinner at the company’s downtown Erie headquarters. Pictured from left to right are Samantha Oliver, Erika Woll, Brianna Riley, Kristopher Knorr, Jacob Tokarczyk, Zachary Buckel, and John McDermitt. Missing from the photo: Kaylyn Wheeler and Selene Stewart.
Hilbert Gift Will Help More Young People Find Their Voices
Bill and Martha Hilbert recently affirmed their commitment to helping some of Erie’s youngest citizens to grow, both personally and artistically. The Hilberts made a $300,000 gift to the Young People’s Chorus of Erie, a youth outreach program of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penn State Behrend. The gift will provide tuition assistance to more students and help cover the cost of other needs such as uniforms, sheet music, and instruments. “YPC’s mission is an easy one to support, and we hope that others recognize that and consider giving as well,” Bill Hilbert said.
GE Executive Nancy Anderson Creates $100K Scholarship
Nancy Anderson, chief information officer for GE Power, created a scholarship endowment for students of Penn State Behrend, taking advantage of matching-fund opportunities from both GE and Penn State. She relied on matching contributions from GE to double her gift and leveraged a matching funds program from the University to have her gift multiplied again to create the Nancy J. Anderson Trustee Scholarship.
Anderson, who earned her M.B.A. from Penn State Behrend in 1997, said, “Just as scholarships helped me post-high school, I wanted to give deserving students the same opportunity to achieve their goals.”
Double or triple the impact of your gift
1:1 and 2:1 Scholarship Matches
If you’ve ever thought about creating a scholarship to support new generations of Penn State Behrend students, there’s never been a better time than now—with two new Greater Penn State scholarship matching programs.
First-Time Scholarship Donor Program: Offers a 1:1 permanent match for donors creating their first undergraduate scholarship endowment at Penn State Behrend. A minimum $30,000 gift would become a $60,000 endowment with the University’s match. Other kinds of undergraduate need-based scholarships with minimum endowments are also eligible, including awards for honors students and other special groups. The match is available through June 30, 2021, or until matching funds are expended.
Open Doors Scholarship Program: Offers a 2:1 permanent match for endowed gifts to specific pilot programs—PaSSS (Pathway to Success: Summer Start), RaiseMe, and Complete Penn State—that help students with financial need thrive at Penn State. With Open Doors, a minimum $30,000 gift would become a $90,000 endowment with the University’s match. The match is available through April 30 of this year or until matching funds are expended.
Help students in the future and immediately.
While donors utilizing these programs may take up to five years to fulfill pledges, matching funds from the University are shifted into the new endowments so that scholarship recipients can begin benefitting immediately in the semester after the scholarship is established.
Want to learn more? Contact Kevin Moore, director of Development and Alumni Relations, at 814-898-6159 or email kem7 @psu.edu.
Meet students helped by scholarships
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Year in school: Junior
Hometown: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Scholarships received: PNC Leadership Scholarship and the Donald R. Blair Scholarship
On choosing Behrend: I actually had my heart set on a different college, but my parents and I decided to visit Penn State Behrend because my father’s employer had hired so many knowledgeable engineers from Behrend. When I visited, I fell in love with the college and knew it was where I belonged.
On choosing her major: I’ve always been a very methodical and analytical thinker. I also love math. Given those facts, Mechanical Engineering was a natural fit.
Proudest accomplishment at Behrend so far: Being a driver for the Supermileage team car! For as long as I can remember, I have loved watching NASCAR and working on our cars in the garage with my dad, so when I came to Behrend, I really wanted to join the Supermileage team and drive the vehicle in competitions. I’ve been one of the drivers all three years.
How scholarships helped her: Receiving scholarships has been such a blessing. To think that a complete stranger had enough faith in my ability to succeed to invest financially in me is something I do not take for granted. The donors’ generosity has also allowed me to meet and interact with other young leaders on campus through events and activities I have been a part of because of the scholarships. I am eternally grateful, and it inspires me to excel in all that I do.
What you’d be surprised to know about her: I am super passionate about NASCAR, hockey, and football. I also love to sing. I was heavily involved in choir and musicals when I was in high school. I actually had a lead role as Cinderella in my unior year. It was an amazing experience,and it really pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Major: Digital Media, Arts, and Technology (DIGIT)
Minor: Management Information Systems
Year in school: Senior
Scholarship received: Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship
On choosing his major: I wanted to develop a strong creative background and the technical skills to accompany it, and with DIGIT, you get both.
On how scholarship funds helped him: Scholarships are the main reason I’m still in school. If it weren’t for the financial support from Penn State Behrend donors, I would not be here today.
On setting the bar high: I am determined not only to create better opportunities for myself, but also for my family and my community.
Lake lover: I love water, so being close to Lake Erie was a real plus for me in choosing to attend Penn State Behrend. I love Erie. I plan to stay here after I graduate and hope to open my own business.
What you’d be surprised to know about him: I seem outgoing, but I’m actually shy.
Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Participating in the Dinner for Six event. It was such a great experience, and it warmed my heart to know my school cares so much about the community and puts in the work required to make a difference. (Penn State Behrend’s thirtieth annual Dinner for Six was held this fall during Hunger and Homelessness Week. The dinner brings together students, faculty members, and staff in an environment where interaction is encouraged and welcomed, while also raising awareness of hunger and gathering donations for an Erie food bank).