This award recognizes individuals, couples, or families that have demonstrated exceptional generosity in the promotion and support of The Pennsylvania State University. Through their philanthropy, the recipients have helped to shape Penn State’s future and enabled us to better serve students and citizens.
2012 Philanthropist of the Year - Edna Peterson Bennett Pierce
In the nearly six decades since her graduation from Penn State, Edna Peterson Bennett Pierce’s life and philanthropy have been guided by her belief that “you can change the world one little child at a time.” Edna was a member of the fabulous 500, the first class of women admitted to the University after World War II, and she earned her degree in home economics in 1953. She went on to become the mother of six and the guiding spirit of the College of Health and Human development’s efforts to improve children’s lives. From the Bennett Playground, created in her honor by her late husband, Gene Bennett, Edna’s philanthropic presence on the University Park campus has grown to include the Bennett family Center, which offers on-campus child care from infancy through kindergarten, and the Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development, endowed by Edna and committed to the health and welfare of children and adolescents. She has supported not only the facilities but also the individuals responsible for making Penn State a home to excellence in research on preventing problems in childhood and adolescence; her gifts to establish faculty chairs, an early career professorship, and a graduate fellowship are helping to ensure that the University will continue to attract and retain innovative leaders in the field of prevention science. Over the years, Edna has served on many Penn State boards and committees, and with her husband and fellow alum, A. Duer “Bud” Pierce ’50, she remains engaged in the life of the University and the College of Health and Human Development. Thanks in part to Edna’s support, a new Biobehavioral Health building is nearing completion. Home to the Prevention Research Center, the building is a symbol of the continuing commitment to children’s well-being that she and Penn State share.
Philanthropists of the Year, 2002 to 2011
2011 - Mr. Terrence M. Pegula and Mrs. Kim Pegula
2010 - Mr. Stephen G. Sheetz and Mrs. Nancy L. Sheetz
2009 - Mr. Edward H. Arnold and Mrs. Jeanne Donlevy Arnold
2007 - Mr. William A. Schreyer, Mrs. Joan Legg Schreyer, and Ms. DrueAnne B. Schreyer
2006 - Mr. J. David Rogers and Mrs. Patricia Maloney Rogers
2005 - Mr. William L. Weiss and Mrs. Josephine Berry Weiss
2004 - Mr. William E. Leonhard and Mrs. Wyllis Leonhard
2003 - Mr. Harold J. Marcus, Ph.D., and Mrs. Inge Marcus
2002 - Mr. J. Lloyd Huck and Mrs. Dorothy Foehr Huck