The President’s Club honors its members at three recognition levels. Members at all giving levels enjoy numerous benefits in honor of their dedication to Penn State. While all types of gifts are greatly appreciated and valued, only current-use funds count towards President’s Club membership. Examples of these funds include: cash, securities, gifts from a foundation, or gifts from an individual’s wholly-owned company. Matching gifts count towards membership as well. Learn more about the individual levels of giving below.
Alumni and friends can qualify for membership in the President’s Circle—our highest level of recognition —with cumulative annual gifts of $10,000 or more. President’s Circle members are an elite group of supporters, who, like all former Presidents of Penn State, take a leadership role in the future of the University. Through their remarkable giving, President’s Circle members are transforming Penn State and helping it grow into one of the world’s most respected universities while also enabling it to keep the doors of education open to all and to uphold its land-grant mission of teaching, research, and service.
Edwin E. Sparks Circle
With cumulative annual gifts of $5,000 or more, alumni and friends are able to qualify for membership in the Sparks Circle. The Sparks Circle represents an influential and select group of Penn State supporters. For this reason, it is named in honor of Edwin Earle Sparks, the eighth President of Penn State. Farm boy, cub reporter, teacher, principal of public schools, professor of American history, author, speaker, and finally University President, Edwin Sparks’ titles and achievements were many. He had a formative influence on Penn State’s development, taking it from an “agricultural school” to a highly respected research university. The President’s Club members in the Sparks Circle are similarly accomplished and multi-talented individuals who are helping to shape the University’s future and raise its stature through their visionary philanthropy.
Ralph D. Hetzel Circle
Annual cumulative giving of $2,500 or more will qualify alumni and friends for membership in the Hetzel Circle. The Hetzel Circle is named after Ralph Dorn Hetzel, Penn State’s tenth President. He was a man who believed strongly in the University’s land-grant mission to give people from throughout the Commonwealth access to higher education. He recognized that the nature of a college education must change over time to fit the needs of students and society. Like President Hetzel, members of the President’s Club are dedicated supporters with the vision to see that the University must continue to grow and evolve in order to provide its students with the best educational experience.
Benefits of President’s Club Membership
The greatest benefit of President’s Club membership is the pride you experience knowing that your dedication to Penn State will make a difference in the lives of students. Your annual leadership support directly underwrites the University’s mission and encourages our excellence in higher education. In appreciation of your generosity, the University extends certain benefits, including:
- Letters from the President and other University leaders about current initiatives and priorities at Penn State
- invitations to the annual reception at University Park
- a lapel pin and car decal for first-time members