A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence invites Penn State’s alumni and friends to become our partners in fulfilling the three core imperatives of a public university:
Learn how you can partner with Penn State Altoona to keep our doors open for every student and every generation; create transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impact the world by fueling discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Together, we can fulfill our mission to engage, inspire, and prepare Penn State Altoona students for success.
Penn State was born out of a revolution in higher education. Its founders believed that the children of farmers and laborers deserved the opportunity to become educated leaders in their professions and their communities, and the University remains committed to a tradition of access and affordability. Because of rising costs, though, too many undergraduates are juggling full-time course loads with full-time jobs, ultimately delaying their degrees and their careers. Many graduate with extraordinary burdens of debt—and many others, daunted by their financial challenges, don’t graduate at all and must find a way to pay their student loans without the benefit of a degree. Both undergraduate and graduate students of extraordinary ability who could thrive at Penn State are sometimes forced to choose other institutions because of economic realities. Philanthropy from alumni and friends can help Penn State to lead the next revolution in higher education: keeping our doors open to students from every background and ensuring that they graduate on time and on track to success.
Opening Doors at Penn State Altoona
In 1939, a passionate group of citizens inspired the public support and necessary funding to bring undergraduate education to the Altoona region. Their enthusiasm and dedication still guide us today, as we continue to grow our legacy of teaching, research, and service. Our mission to engage, inspire, and prepare students for success is only meaningful, however, if we keep our degree programs accessible to all aspiring scholars. With an average student loan debt of $40,000 and over 30 percent of our students the first in their family to attend college, many carry financial burdens and obligations that can compromise their education and their future. Scholarships are the best way to provide significant support, enrich the campus’s diverse culture, and ensure that Penn State Altoona remains an educational leader in our community and beyond.
Our Campaign Priorities
Need-based undergraduate scholarships
For many Altoona undergraduate students, from single parents returning to school to military veterans to people whose families have been hit hard by changes in the economy, our degrees represent paths to a brighter future. Yet without additional support, a Penn State education often remains out of reach. Need-based scholarships offer alumni and friends of Penn State Altoona the opportunity to create awards that reflect individual passions and areas of interest while also helping students launch successful careers and rewarding lives.
Merit-based undergraduate scholarships
Endowed scholarships awarded for academic excellence provide lasting support and incentives to Penn State Altoona’s highest-achieving students, especially those from middle-income families who receive little to no aid from the federal government. Merit-based scholarships reward our students’ hard work, challenge them to strive for ambitious academic goals, and allow Penn State Altoona to attract talented undergraduates who will grow into future leaders for our region and beyond.
Annual undergraduate scholarships
Alumni and friends can also support both need-based and merit-based scholarships on an annual basis, providing the resources necessary to recruit and retain a diverse and talented student body. Annual scholarships allow us to respond quickly to the changing needs of our students, and our supporters can see the immediate impact of their philanthropy on the lives of the students and community.
Emergency assistance fund
Penn State Altoona students, especially those who already struggle with the cost of tuition, sometimes face financial challenges that threaten to derail their education. A parent’s job loss, a personal or family member’s illness, or a natural disaster that hits home can preclude the student’s degree completion. Emergency scholarships serve as a “lifeline” for these students, helping to keep them enrolled and on the path to achieving their educational and life dreams.
Your Support, Our Future
With the help of alumni and friends, we can achieve the important goals of A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence and ensure that all students experience the full value of a Penn State degree. Scholarships awarded on the basis of financial need or personal achievement will increase the support available for our ambitious students from all economic backgrounds, and our emergency assistance fund will ensure that no students’ dreams are compromised by financial concerns. Your gifts can keep the door open to a brighter future for Penn State Altoona students by engaging, inspiring, and preparing them for success.
Create Transformative Experiences
Penn State’s mission of teaching, research, and service goes far beyond its classrooms and campuses. Through both traditional study abroad and new hands-on opportunities, undergraduates are learning about the responsibilities and opportunities of global citizenship, and Penn State is taking its place as a leader among international institutions. Both faculty and students are forming new collaborations and discovering new ways of sharing knowledge through advances in digital technology. And communities across the Commonwealth and around the world are coming together through Penn State’s leadership in the arts and humanities. Extraordinary opportunities like these require extraordinary resources. Private support has the potential to create the transformative experiences that will change the lives of our students, allow our faculty to lead, and reaffirm Penn State’s role as a pioneer in higher education.
Creating Transformative Experiences at Penn State Altoona
Students choose Penn State Altoona not only for the world-class curriculum and classroom teaching but also for enriching experiences that allow them to grow into future leaders. On-campus, in our local community, and around the world, our students work directly with faculty on research and creative activities projects, present papers at conferences, perform on stage, exhibit their original works, collaborate with business leaders on cutting-edge products and services, and advance new knowledge in disciplines from the arts and humanities to engineering and sciences. Through the Greater Penn State campaign, alumni and friends can partner with us in creating these educational offerings as we prepare creative and globally connected graduates who will define a bright future for our community and world.
Our Campaign Priorities
Science and Engineering Building
Society’s big challenges lie at the nexus of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The new Science and Engineering Building will provide students with the resources to spur innovations and solutions through increased research space; cutting-edge engineering, science, and visual art studies laboratories and studios; and enhanced technology.
Advancing the arts and humanities
As a long-standing leader in advancing the arts and humanities, Penn State Altoona students perform in local and regional theater venues and participate in juried art exhibits, while our community programs open new perspectives in art from the Classical Music Project to our Downtown Film Series. Philanthropic gifts to support an endowment for these and our many other programs will continue to celebrate and promote local, regional, and world cultures.
Research, global travel, internships, capstone projects, academic clubs, and community service projects are transformational facets of the college experience. However, for many students who already struggle to afford tuition, these opportunities remain out of reach. Support for engaged scholarship allows alumni and friends to help Penn State Altoona students from all backgrounds enhance their education and develop a deeper understanding of our world.
The Innovation Factory is a unique, hands-on facility that exposes engineering students to the technical demands, potential pitfalls, and professional expectations of practicing engineers. Our students work closely with a sponsoring company to apply their electrical, mechanical, and programming knowledge to new product design and development. Private support and industry sponsors are instrumental to the ongoing success of the Innovation Factory.
Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering
In collaboration with our industry partners, guided by our outstanding engineering faculty, and in response to the high demand for skilled STEAM graduates, we plan to launch a new mechanical engineering degree. Private support will help us offer a cutting-edge curriculum, undergraduate research experiences, individualized faculty mentoring, and numerous internship and employment opportunities with leading companies.
Your Support, Our Future
Through the Greater Penn State campaign, donors can partner with Penn State Altoona in achieving our most ambitious goals. Together, we will provide the space, resources, and personnel needed to solve the big challenges facing our world. We will infuse our community with experiences in the arts and humanities, celebrating the rich diversity of our region and world. We will enable our students to take full advantage of global travel, research, and immersion experiences that broaden their education and future. We will facilitate real-world industry partnerships and create a new program that positions our students for in-demand and rewarding careers after graduation. Together, we can create the transformative experiences that will engage, inspire, and prepare Penn State Altoona students for success.
Impact the World
As a land-grant institution, Penn State has always been committed to serving the greater good, and that mission has never been more urgent than it is today. Through research in fields ranging from human health to water, food, and energy security, our faculty and students are helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. To sustain economic prosperity for our nation, Penn State is bringing together expertise and entrepreneurship to create the ideas, products, and industries that will drive growth in the decades to come. The University’s most important contributions to the future, however, are the ambitions and abilities of our graduates, who will carry the Penn State can-do spirit into their careers and communities. By supporting this spirit, alumni and friends can help our institution and our students to fulfill the University’s land-grant mission in the twenty-first century and make a lasting impact on the world.
Impacting the World at Penn State Altoona
Penn State Altoona has a rich history in the Blair County region. We are proud to have educated many of the leaders who influence policies and industries at the local, national, and international levels. To continue meeting the healthcare, business, and other needs of our community, we must provide cutting-edge instruction and promote creativity and innovation on our campuses. With the support of alumni and friends, we will enhance our curriculum; expand students’ career potential; enrich our local and regional economies; apply our teaching, research, and service mission across the globe; and continue graduating individuals who will create a bright future for our region and our world.
Our Campaign Priorities
Through the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, we are developing business leaders and fostering successful ventures within the Altoona community and beyond. From the Pechter Business Plan Competition, where students build a business from concept to reality, to the Trading Club, which introduces students to managing an investment portfolio, to our Launch Box, assisting our students and community members in starting new businesses, our undergraduates are developing the skills necessary to excel in the twenty-first-century workforce. Private gifts can help secure additional opportunities for projects with local businesses, initiate collaborations with industry leaders, and facilitate travel to conferences and competitions.
Endowed professorship in biomechanics
Penn State Altoona’s new kinesiology degree program provides avenues for ambitious careers in the movement and exercise sciences, and our proposed mechanical engineering degree will position students to excel in a range of engineering industries. But the ultimate success of our aspiring students is defined by the quality of leadership and instruction they receive on our campuses. An endowment to support an interdisciplinary professorship in biomechanics, an area at the nexus of kinesiology and mechanical engineering, will help us attract top faculty who inspire our students, define our burgeoning programs, and shape the next generation of professionals.
Penn State Altoona’s nursing program is one of our most highly enrolled degree programs. It is also renowned in our region and beyond, as we continue to graduate exceptional nurses, ready to serve the health needs of society. To build on this success, we plan to construct a new facility to house state-of-the-art, high-fidelity labs and equipment to prepare students for the increasingly complex health challenges faced by society. With the enhanced space and the support of alumni and friends, Penn State Altoona’s nursing graduates will continue to create a bright and healthy future for all.
Your Support, Our Future
From our founding in 1939, Penn State Altoona has remained committed to improving our region, the Commonwealth, and the world. Through the Greater Penn State campaign and with the support of alumni and friends, we will challenge our students to think creatively, entrepreneurially, and innovatively as they graduate and pursue their passions. We will endow an interdisciplinary professorship in biomechanics to recruit leading faculty who will advance our college to new levels of excellence. We will provide our highly esteemed nursing students with improved labs, learning spaces, and technology to ensure that the next generation of healthcare providers is equipped with the technical skills the industry demands. By supporting the success of Penn State Altoona, alumni and friends can have a lasting impact on our campus and the larger world by engaging, inspiring, and preparing our students for success.