Volunteer Fundraisers Unite for Push to Campaign Goal
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
More than 300 Penn State alumni and friends gathered at University Park on Friday, September 14, and Saturday, September 15, to renew their energy and efforts on behalf of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. Through the summit’s workshops, seminars, and panel discussions, the volunteers prepared for a final push toward the campaign’s goal of $2 billion in new support by 2014. More than $1.6 billion has already been raised, putting For the Future ahead of pace with just over three-quarters of its timeline elapsed.
“The focus of For the Future on Penn State students has inspired all of us since the campaign began in 2007, and our success in reaching the goal will translate directly into personal and professional success for new generations of Penn Staters,” said Peter G. Tombros, volunteer chair of the campaign. “The enthusiasm and expertise that our volunteers shared at this weekend’s summit, as well as the results that they have already achieved during the campaign, give me tremendous confidence in our ability to fulfill the vision of For the Future.”
The summit kicked off with a keynote address by Dr. Stan Ikenberry, former president of the University of Illinois and former president of the American Council on Education. Ikenberry now serves as a senior scientist for the Penn State College of Education’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and a professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies, and he discussed the increasing importance of philanthropy in higher education. The weekend included sessions on topics ranging from the impact of the current economy on charitable giving to the role of faculty endowments in enhancing the educational experience at Penn State.
The summit also offered an opportunity to celebrate two major annual awards. Corporate Partner of the Year was presented to Chevron for its strategic investments in a wide range of Penn State programs, and Fundraising Volunteer of the Year was presented to Robert Fenza for his service to the College of Arts & Architecture. At the Friday evening event, President Rodney A. Erickson also announced two new commitments from leading Penn State volunteers: a $3 million gift from Jeff and Cindy King and a $5 million gift from Peter and Ann Tombros.
“So many alumni and friends have come forward over the past year to ask how they can help our students, and philanthropy is the best way to ensure that a Penn State degree continues to have value and meaning far into the future,” said Erickson. “The leadership shown by our volunteers, both through their service and their own generosity, has shown us the way forward, and the philanthropy that they help to inspire will make our institution immeasurably stronger.”
For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State’s 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. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.