Groups’ Endowed Scholarships Increase 11%
Lest you think I’m obsessed about money when it comes to helping our students, I confess to it, gladly. That’s why I’m so enormously proud of the way the affiliate groups of the Penn State Alumni Association—chapters, college and campus societies, and alumni interest groups—responded this year in our campaign asking them to beef up the value of their endowed scholarships. They finished the academic year on June 30 by increasing their collective endowments 11 percent, from $5.5 million last year to $6.1 million this year.
In fact, since we launched this “soft campaign” to increase the groups’ endowments in February 2010—just 18 months ago—they’ve generated a 21 percent increase, growing from $5,036,984 to $6,127,064. And those sums represent the conservative “book value,” meaning only those funds that are actually contributed through gifts or added to the endowment through unspent earnings. The market value, which fluctuates with the fortunes of the stock market, would be higher, given those rising fortunes during the last 12 months.
With For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students as the inspiration, we are hoping to see those collective endowments increase by 50 percent over the life of the University’s third major gifts campaign, which ends June 30, 2014. That would mean an increase in book value from $5 million to $7.5 million. Such an increase would result in the collective endowments generating at least $350,000 annually in scholarship funds for our students from across the country. To get to that point, however, would mean that over the next three years the groups must maintain the current momentum of increasing book value by about $500,000 per year.
The $6,127,064 book value as of June 30 is actually something of an undercount, in that it does not yet reflect any large contribution made up to 90 days prior to June 30. That’s because all gifts of $5,000 or more are placed in an interest-bearing account by the University before they are moved permanently into the endowment. The earnings during that 90-day span help to support our Office of University Development, a practice that makes it less dependent on institutional funds.
Nonetheless, it’s been a very good year. Some highlights:
- Last year, 23 chapters had endowments of at least $50,000, which is the current threshold for new undergraduate scholarship endowments. This year, we saw 28 chapters above that threshold. Last year, we had three alumni interest groups over $50,000 in their endowments. This year, there were five. Last year, we saw 11 college alumni societies above $50,000. This year, 12. And last year, we had five campus alumni societies over $50,000. This year eight.
- In the past 12 months, three chapters crossed the $100,000 threshold in their scholarship endowments—Connecticut Valley, Aiken-Augusta (S.C., Ga.) and Naples (Fla.) They joined the Orange County (Calif.) Chapter, which last year became the first to pass that level.
- Trustee Scholarships—undergraduate scholarships that include a match by the University to create an annual payout double the amount contributed by the individual or organization—became increasingly popular. The Chester County (Pa.) Chapter became the first group to endow its Trustee Scholarship, with $41,500 in the endowment toward a $50,000 goal. The Washington, D.C. Metro Chapter in April presented us with a check for $50,000, although the sum doesn’t show up in the June 30 totals. And the revitalized Berks County (Pa.) Chapter signed a pledge for its Trustee Scholarship. Meanwhile, the Smeal College of Business Alumni Society went over the $50,000 mark in its Trustee Scholarship while the Penn State DuBois Alumni Society did same, and the Eberly College of Science increased its Trustee Scholarship to more than $65,000. The Penn State Shenango Alumni Society finished the year with $38,565 in its Trustee Scholarship fund, which is merged with the same scholarship the Penn State Alumni Association pledged to the campus in 2008. The largest Trustee Scholarship, however, has been generated by the African American Alumni Organization Alumni Interest Group, which crossed the $113,000 mark this year.
Now, the drum roll please, as we salute those affiliate groups that are over the new $50,000 minimum required for undergraduate endowed scholarships (although many others are also endowed at the minimum level from years past: originally $15,000, then raised to $25,000).
- Connecticut Valley $105,000
- Orange County (Calif.) $105,000
- Aiken-Augusta (S.C., Ga.) $103,082
- Naples (Fla.) $101,473
- Adams County (Pa,) $89,393
- Greater Washington, D.C. Metro $80,412
- Franklin County (Pa.) $79,486
- Greater Chicago $70,920
- Greater Atlanta $68,651
- Greater Dayton $68,525
- Florida Gulfcoast $67,798
- Greater Harrisburg (Pa.) $66,668
- Lehigh Valley (Pa.) $66,250
- Minnesota $65,677
- Greater Scranton $64,045
- Triangle (N.C.) $61,571
- Los Angeles $60,354
- Michigan $59,578
- Delaware County (Pa.) $58,524
- Bucks County (Pa.) $57,247
- Southern New Jersey $55,553
- Centre County (Pa.) $55,296
- Silicon Valley (Calif.) $54,900
- Greater Susquehanna Valley (Pa.) $53,436
- Greater Houston $53,173
- Greater Boston $52,594
- Greater Baltimore $51,827
- Greater Binghamton $50,391
Alumni Interest Groups:
- Lion’s Paw $490,060
- African American Alumni Organization $113,731
- Parmi Nous $64,659
- Skull and Bones $55,950
- The Collegian $55,874
College Alumni Societies:
- Medicine $286,703
- Communications $275,205
- Eberly Science $194,183
- Agricultural Sciences $163,967
- Health and Human Development (Honors) $86,927
- Eberly Science (Trustee) $65,419
- Dickinson Law $65,150
- Arts and Architecture $60,426
- Liberal Arts $60,064
- Liberal Arts (Enrichment) $57,465
- Smeal Business (Trustee) $52,182
- Health and Human Development (Life Promise) $50,120
Campus Alumni Societies:
- Beaver $72,845
- Shenango $66,740
- Fayette/Eberly $63,542
- Alle-Kiski (New Kensington) $59,108
- Worthington Scranton $58,819
- Dubois (Trustee) $54,989
- Great Valley $54,501
- Greater Allegheny $52,448
We sincerely thank and applaud our affiliate groups for a great year of increases to their collective scholarship endowments. The real beneficiaries are our future alumni, and their need has never been greater. In 2009–10, there were 39,250 Penn State students each with an average unmet financial aid need of $6,908. That’s more than $271,000,000 in unmet need!
Thus every dollar in new endowed scholarship funds makes a difference. Our affiliate groups have risen to the challenge again this year, and we are confident they will do even better in the upcoming academic year.
For the Future,
Roger L. Williams ’73, ’75g, ’88g
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