GE executive creates $100,000 scholarship for Penn State Behrend students

ERIE, Pa. — A $50,000 gift from Nancy Anderson, former chief information officer and Digital Thread leader for GE Transportation, will provide scholarships for students with financial need at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. A $50,000 match from GE will double the gift’s impact.

As a Trustee Matching Scholarship, the gift will generate additional funding from Penn State, which will match 5 percent of the principal gift in perpetuity. Traditional scholarships generate, on average, annual payouts equal to 4.5 percent of the principal gift. With the University match, Trustee Scholarships result in an average overall rate of return of 9.5 percent.

“I grew up in a small town and was one of the first in my family to go to college. I remember it was difficult to find the funds,” Anderson said. “I am excited to help ease some of that financial burden for in-need students, perhaps helping them achieve their dreams.”

Scholarships will be awarded to students who have demonstrated financial need. Graduates of North East High School will be given first preference. Students who receive funding may be eligible for scholarship renewal if they continue their studies at Penn State Behrend.

Anderson earned a master’s degree in business administration from Penn State Behrend in 1997. She is an active and consistent supporter of the college, serving on the Black School of Business Board of Visitors. She was named an Alumni Fellow in 2013 and has served as GE’s Penn State executive for more than five years. Since she began working with the University, GE has sponsored more than $11 million in projects with Penn State, including key partnerships between GE Transportation, Oracle Corporation and Penn State Behrend.

Anderson also serves on the board of directors of the North East (Pa.) Community Foundation and has served on the board of Hamot Medical Center.

Anderson was recently named CIO of GE Power, GE’s largest industrial business, with approximately $27 billion in revenue. As CIO and Digital Thread leader for GE Transportation, she worked with the company’s engineering, supply chain, IT and services teams to build and enhance the digital backbone of the company’s business. Since joining GE’s Computer Management Program in 1984, she has held numerous positions within information technology, with a primary focus on management of large projects.

By creating a Trustee Matching Scholarship, Anderson maximized the impact of her gift. Since the inception of the Trustee Matching program, donors have funded 50 new scholarships at Penn State Behrend, adding more than $11 million to the college’s overall scholarship endowment. The scholarships generate more than $1.2 million in annual funding for students with immediate financial need.

Gifts from Penn State’s alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the door to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit