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.
$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
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.
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 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 about the University’s Fostering Discovery and Creativity initiative, one of the six overarching campaign objectives of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.
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.
Through program endowments, donors can support activities as diverse as literacy outreach, undergraduate research, study abroad, and public broadcasting.
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.