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Philanthropy creates transformative experiences for students and faculty | Penn State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – In March 2020, New Mexico’s Maddie Holmberg-Nickal with the Penn State track and field team was preparing to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships, when a late decision called off the event due to COVID-19. Nichal thought her collegiate athletic career — which included the Big Ten and All-American awards — came to an end overnight.

“In the context of what we have all experienced, the sports season may seem insignificant, but for the student athletes who have coached our whole lives, it has been devastating,” said Nichal. “This wasn’t the first setback I’ve faced as a competitor, and I’ve counted on every score in my last season – except not being able to get one at all while I was healthy and fully prepared to meet my goals.”

Thanks to the Penn State Returning Seniors Fund and the NCAA’s decision to give Nikal and her colleagues another season, I was able to get back on track—and back to college to earn a master’s degree in nutritional sciences through our global campus. It’s one of the many ways that advocates of “Greater Pennsylvania State Excellence in the Twenty-first Century” have helped Pennsylvania students and faculty pursue their ambitions.

The campaign, which concluded June 30, raised more than $2.2 billion for the three key imperatives of a modern land-grant institution: opening the doors of higher education to students of all backgrounds; Creating transformative experiences for both students and citizens; And influence the larger world through research, awareness, and service. More than $289 million was secured over the six years of the campaign for Priority 2, helping advance the value of Pennsylvania’s education to students and quality of life for communities through philanthropy not only for intercollegiate athletics, but also the arts and humanities, global engagement and digital innovation.

new home for art

Perhaps the most visible physical symbol of the campaign’s impact is the new Palmer Museum of Art, currently under construction at the Arboretum in Pennsylvania. Donors have made the new, cutting-edge facility possible, with more than $22 million in support to date. At the April 22 celebration of “Greater Pennsylvania,” Palmer Museum director Erin M. Coe, “Through philanthropy, we have been able to create a destination for students, families, visitors and community members that will do justice to our expanded collections, exhibitions and programs, which will provide new spaces to engage audiences and meet the needs of a 21st century educational museum.” With nearly twice the exhibition space of the current Palmer Museum. On Curtin Road and additional areas for education programs and events, the new facility is expected to open in 2024.

Kiko Miwa Ross, Penn State’s 2020 Philanthropist, was a lead donor to the museum project, and also gave gifts to replace the WPSU-TV transmission system, namespaces and enhance resources in university libraries, expand the student farm, and contribute to the development of pollinators and the nursery’s bird park – All assets to both Penn State students and area citizens. Earlier this year, when she expanded her philanthropy to include named spaces at the Pennsylvania State Center for Innovation and the Belisario Media Center, she said, “Pennsylvania has given me a sense of community here at State College, and I’m so happy I can help make this forum even stronger than ever.” Ever “.

Growing world leaders

Campaign gifts also help the Pennsylvania community define itself as global. Supporting international experiences and opportunities has been a priority for Greater Pennsylvania, and the impact is evident in the lives of students and alumni such as Elizabeth Powderley, who graduated in May from Eberley College of Science with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. Through an internship in Ireland made possible through the Perreault Fellows Program, awarded by Paul and Beverly Perreault, Powderly gained experience that helped her choose a career in healthcare consulting.

“I never thought I could go abroad — I didn’t think I could afford it,” Powderly said. “Ireland was truly a transformative experience that I wouldn’t have had without the Perreault Fellowship. It made me more confident as a person. But also, when I start my work, I will be working with so many different communities, different cultures, and different people. Global citizenship is at the core of what the Penn State and the Perreault Fellowship is all about.” “. Powderly shared more about her experience in a video available at Greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

Prepare for a digital world

At the heart of the “Greater Pennsylvania State of Excellence in the Twenty-first Century” was a vision of a future where global, technological and digital innovation was also a priority for the campaign. One of the first and most important gifts to the campaign was the $30 million commitment from Donald B. With technologies that students will use in their careers in the field of communications. When the gift was announced in 2017, Dean Mary Hardin said: “In the fast-moving fields of media and journalism, the greatest advantage we can offer our students is hands-on experience, learning from faculty who are themselves leaders and game-exporters.”

On Penn State campuses across the Commonwealth, philanthropy helps students and communities prepare for a digital future. The Penn State Greater Allegheny Digital Fluency Project provides every student, faculty, and employee with iPads they can use to access online resources, participate in collaborative projects, and more. Donors James and Megan Minarik supported the project and encouraged other donors with the Challenge Grant.

During the 2019 event, Allegheny Senior IT Science and Technology Katharina Shields thanked Minariks, saying, “I knew I couldn’t be an IST major and didn’t have a computer, but I also knew it would take me a very long time to provide enough money for one person… [The Digital Fluency Project] It literally changed everything for me…I found my true passion in this campus. It wouldn’t have happened without the people who put in my way, including two incredible people, graduate Jim Minarek and his wife Megan.”

Maddie Holmberg Nickall is also grateful to the donors who shaped her experience in Pennsylvania – as a student-athlete and now as a resident of Center County. Recipient of the Breslin Family Track and Field Scholarship, among other awards, she settled in the area with her husband celebrating Pennsylvania State wrestler Bo Nikal. At the campaign celebration on April 22, where Nickals served as interns, she said, “Thank you to all the donors who have made Penn State such a wonderful resource for our community, whether it’s through gifts for Public Broadcasting or Shaver’s Creek, to the arts or athletics. You’ve given us so many One of the reasons we are proud of the Pennsylvania Staters—and to build our lives together here.”

Watch a video produced by WPSU to celebrate the campaign, including notes from Maddie and Bo Nickal, here.

With the record success of the Greater Pennsylvania State of Excellence in the 21st Century, which raised $2.2 billion from 2016 to 2022, philanthropy helps maintain the university’s traditions of education, research, and service to communities throughout the Commonwealth and around the world. Scholarships enable our institution to open doors and welcome students from every background, supporting transformative experiences allows our students and faculty to realize their enormous potential for leadership, and gifts toward discovery and excellence help us serve and influence the world we share. To learn more about the impact of giving and the ongoing need for support, please visit lift.psu.edu.


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