When you enter a store and buy several sweatshirts sporting the words "Penn State" or "Nittany Lions," you're helping a financially needy Penn State student stay enrolled at the University.
Every officially licensed Penn State item sold nationally and internationally sends 7.5 percent of its price tag back to the University and its students. Compared to many other universities, Penn State was a latecomer in the move to officially license its name and certain affiliated images. Created in 1982 alongside the first national football championship, the program has grown tremendously, reaping more than $2 million in 1994-95, the Rose Bowl Championship season.
The program directs 86 percent of the revenue into scholarship funds and endowed scholarship funds, with the rest used for administrative costs. (For details, click here.)
"The original intent of the licensing has been and remains funding academic and athletic scholarships for students," Dan Sieminski, chair of the licensing committee, said. "Since 1982, the licensing of Penn State's name and images has attracted $8.1 million for academic and athletic scholarships. Of that $8.1 million, $1.9 million has been directed into endowed scholarship funds to maintain a stable source of funding in the future."
Of the endowed funds, 65 percent has been earmarked for academic excellence scholarships so many more Penn State students will continue to benefit from the licensing program.
"Certainly, the Penn State family of students, employees, alumni and supporters has made this licensing program wildly successful," Mr. Sieminski said. "And with our Big Ten membership, the recent opening of the Jordan Center and the continuing success of our athletic programs including men's and women's basketball, we are optimistic that the program will continue to grow and support students at Penn State."
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