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Penn State Smeal celebrates success in ‘Greater Penn State’ campaign

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Smeal College of Business has raised $116.3 million as part of the University’s record-breaking campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.”

The Penn State Smeal total represents a new fundraising high and a transformative investment by more than 8,000 alumni, friends, corporate partners and others in its mission to be a leader in business education and research.

“I am so grateful for the steadfast commitment of our alumni and friends throughout the ‘Greater Penn State’ campaign,” said Charles H. Whiteman, John and Karen Arnold Dean of the Smeal College of Business.

“Thousands of Smeal students receive scholarship support because of their generosity. Our faculty is better positioned to conduct the groundbreaking research synonymous with the Smeal brand, and our students can access programs and services that will transform their education,” said Whiteman.

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June 30 marked the end of both the most successful campaign ($2.2 billion) and fundraising year (more than $437 million) in Penn State’s history.

The six-year campaign, which began in 2016, was focused on the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Within Smeal, notable campaign outcomes and fundraising achievements include:

More than $53 million was raised for undergraduate scholarships. Donors created 48 Open Doors Scholarships and 11 Educational Equity Scholarships as part of the campaign’s scholarship matching programs.
A gift from Scott and Marcy Tarriff established the Tarriff Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility in 2019.
A gift to create the Fred H. Schaefer Scholars Program in Accounting. The rigorous program, which emphasizes ethics, leadership and international experiences, admits a small cohort of accounting students each year following a competitive selection process.
Jason and Julie Borrelli endowed the Jason and Julie Borrelli Faculty Chair in Real Estate (currently held by Dr. Brent Ambrose) early in the campaign and made an additional pledge last year to name the Borrelli Institute for Real Estate Studies. The Borrellis also created scholarships as part of the Open Doors and Educational Equity Scholarship Matching programs and endowed a Trustee Matching Scholarship.
Nearly a dozen new endowed faculty positions were pledged or created, including the David and Susan Marcinek Early Career Professorship — the University’s first early career professorship to recruit and retain faculty who enhance the college’s diversity.
Robert and Suzanne Davidow created the Davidow Excellence in Sustainability Fund to advance Smeal’s work to create the Center for the Business of Sustainability. The center was announced in 2019 and launched in July 2020.
Lou and Kathy Gatto made an estate commitment to create the Gatto Global Social Impact Fund at Smeal. Their gift will help students leverage the power of business to develop solutions to an array of regional or thematic social challenges.
Karen and Tony Quintos endowed the Hughes-Quintos Educational Equity Scholarship and the Hughes-Quintos Diversity Enhancement Program Fund, which offer resources to help prepare students to foster a welcoming and inclusive culture in the workplace.
Paul and Cynthia Pearce created the Paul and Cynthia Pearce Open Doors Scholarship, the largest Open Doors Scholarship at Smeal. The Open Doors Scholarship Program was designed to create scholarships that support programs that keep students on track to their degrees.
Rick and Brooke Booth created the Richard and Brooke Booth Executive DBA Graduate Scholarship to help Smeal’s newly created Executive Doctorate of Business Administration Program, which will launch in 2023, compete nationally for students as the program is getting established.
Fariborz Ghadar created the Ghadar Family International Experience Fund to provide study abroad scholarships for students who have never previously traveled outside the United States. Ghadar also made the University’s largest GivingTuesday gift in 2018 to support study abroad and global engagement.
In the closing weeks of the campaign, Doug and Leila Leech created a fund to support experiential learning opportunities for students in the Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship degree program.
Also, in the final weeks of the campaign, Jeff and Wendy Gido, together with Goldman Sachs, created a program fund to support programs and initiatives associated with financial technology for students who contribute to the diversity of the student body.

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Salo Sredni, a 1987 graduate with a degree in accounting and chair of Smeal’s volunteer campaign committee, said it was an honor to help inform the strategy of the “Greater Penn State” campaign and its potential impact on the future of business education.

“So many alumni stepped forward over the last six years to share their time or financial resources, and I am grateful for their contributions to Smeal,” said Sredni.

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“As I reflect on Smeal’s success in the ‘Greater Penn State’ campaign, I am reminded of the Vietnamese proverb: ‘When eating fruit, remember the one who planted the tree.’ Smeal alumni and friends planted a lot of trees in this campaign, and the Smeal community will feel the impact of those gifts for generations to come.”  

Details about the campaign’s achievements and the results from every Penn State college and campaign are available at greaterpennstate.psu.edu. Stories about philanthropy’s impact on the University can be found at raise.psu.edu.

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Additional campaign details for Smeal will be included in the college’s annual report later this year.

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