Sustaining a Tradition of Quality
Penn State’s alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling our land-grant mission of education, research, and service. Many of the University’s most popular programs in the arts, public broadcasting, and athletics rely upon annual support, and our academic departments are able to enrich the student experience with curricular innovations, special lectures, and other opportunities funded through unrestricted gifts. Our relationships with individuals, businesses, and foundations provide our leadership with the resources to meet the challenges of running a complex institution in today’s rapidly changing world, and they are an opportunity for donors at every level to communicate their vision for Penn State.
We encourage you to visit the philanthropy web pages of the colleges, campuses, and programs that are of the most interest to you and to read through the endowment opportunities listed below.
People, Projects, and Pride at Penn State
Published January 2013
In this video (shown below), Penn State President Rodney Erickson welcomes students back to the new semester by showing examples of students, faculty, and staff working on projects across the University that incorporate academics, research, and global perspective, improving lives on many levels. The video includes some of the many projects throughout Penn State that are made possible through philanthropy to the University.
These extraordinary gifts are carefully managed by Penn State to provide permanent, ongoing support for our students and programs. Endowments exist in perpetuity: the fund is invested for long-term growth; only a small percentage (typically 4.5 percent) of the market value is spent each year, so that the endowment—and the legacy of our donors—endures for the life of the University.
The minimum endowment levels listed below guarantee that sufficient income will be available to fulfill the intentions of the endowment. All endowments can be created with payments over the course of five years, and most can be established with estate or deferred gifts (exceptions are noted below with an asterisk). Our development staff can work with you to establish guidelines for your endowment and to provide ongoing stewardship to ensure that your philanthropic goals are achieved.
Academic Departments - $5,000,000 and more*
Academic departments are the core of the University, encouraging disciplinary rigor and providing intellectual homes for our students and faculty. Naming an academic department is the best way to ensure that a program has the resources and flexibility it needs to lead the way for its students and its peers in education, research, and service.
Academic Centers and Institutes - Various Levels
By naming an academic center or institute, donors can accelerate our progress in addressing urgent global issues and encourage the interdisciplinary collaborations that hold the most promise in fields as diverse as medicine, economics, environmental science, and international law.
Lectureships - $100,000
Lectures by visiting speakers reinvigorate dialogue on our campuses, connect our students with leaders in a vast range of fields, and attract the attention of the public and the media to the academic community at Penn State.
Research Funds - $50,000
Research endowments have the potential to yield tangible benefits beyond the University and are particularly vital in nurturing the work of junior faculty-researchers who may have special promise and vision but face difficulty in securing funds from conventional corporate and government sources.
Visit the Research section of this website to read more.
College/Campus Scholarship - $50,000
In addition to designating scholarships to a particular campus or college, benefactors may choose to shape scholarships that express their interests and values by indicating additional preferences, such as rewarding academic achievers or providing funding for students with financial need or individuals from a particular community. Benefactors may also choose to name a scholarship in memory or honor of an individual.
To contribute, contact a development representative at the college, campus, program, or unit of your choice.
Program Support - $25,000
Through program endowments, donors can support activities as diverse as literacy outreach, undergraduate research, study abroad, and public broadcasting.
Libraries - $25,000
Both students and faculty depend upon the University’s library holdings, from print publications such as books and periodicals to digital media and archival materials. An endowment can ensure that Penn State will be able to deepen and refresh its collections in an area that holds special interest for a donor.
Naming Colleges, Campuses, and Schools
Through naming endowments, our most generous benefactors can:
- recognize a program’s achievements and provide the resources necessary to build upon them;
- give a program the stability and support it needs to become a force in the academic world;
- challenge faculty and staff to unite across disciplines and fields to provide the best possible education for Penn State students.
Naming a college, campus, or school is one of the most visible and important legacies that can be established at Penn State. Each gift reflects the donor’s highest ideals and ensures that those ideals remain an enduring yet dynamic part of Penn State for generations to come. The opportunity to name a college, campus, or school is available on an individual basis, at the level that reflects the scope of the entity. Our development staff can work with you to establish guidelines and provide ongoing stewardship.
Deans, department heads, and other senior administrators can direct these gifts to the most urgent needs, such as scholarships, equipment acquisition, and travel funds. Learn about the different ways you can support colleges, campuses, and programs through unrestricted gifts by visiting our Future Funds page.
To view additional endowment opportunities at Penn State, visit the Endowments page.
* Endowments marked with an asterisk must be established with an outright gift, rather than an estate or deferred gift.