The Atherton Society

Those who choose to donate to Penn State through a planned gift are unique, for they recognize the importance of not only supporting today’s University, but ensuring its mission is carried well into the future. We honor those with this visionary support through The Atherton Society, named for George W. Atherton, Penn State’s seventh president, and his wife, Frances. Their efforts laid the groundwork for today’s achievements, much like your gifts will do in the future.

How to become a member

Membership is offered to all individuals and couples who let us know, via written documentation, that they included Penn State in their estate plans or as a beneficiary of another type of planned gift, regardless of the amount.

These gift commitments may include:

  • a bequest in a will or living trust
  • a charitable gift annuity
  • a charitable lead trust
  • a charitable remainder trust
  • a remainder interest in a home, farm, or other property
  • designation of Penn State as the beneficiary of a retirement plan or a life insurance policy

You can download the Atherton Society membership form (PDF) and send it to us at:

Office of Gift Planning
The Pennsylvania State University
212 103 Building
University Park, PA 16802

We look forward to properly thanking you.

Benefits of becoming a member

As a member, you will receive:

  • a small gift as a token of our appreciation;
  • specialized periodic updates about the University’s progress and programs, including the Gift Planning eNewsletter;
  • Remembering Penn State: The Gift Planning Newsletter, a publication of the Atherton Society;
  • invitations to special events and seminars.

Publication and confidentiality

Your membership in the Society may be published from time to time. Any details that you disclose about your gift are held in the strictest confidence.

If you wish, you may choose to request anonymity; we will certainly respect your wishes.

More information

Please view The Atherton Society fact sheet and contact the Office of Gift Planning at or 814-865-0872 for more information.