Penn State Intercom......September 13, 2001

Starling will be honored as
Renaissance Woman of the Year

By Laura Stocker
University Relations Starling_Marty

Martha Lewis "Marty" Starling of State College, well-known community volunteer, will be honored as the Renaissance Woman of the Year at the 25th annual Renaissance Scholarship Fund dinner, according to John M. Infield, president of the Renaissance Fund Board of Directors.

The event will be held Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on the University Park campus, beginning with a reception at 6 p.m. and followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The dinner raises funds for the University's Renaissance Scholarships, which are awarded to academically talented students who have great financial need. Each dinner honors a local leader in the community, and contributions are used to endow scholarships in the honoree's name.

A native of Larned, Kan., Starling has been a volunteer since the age of 10 when she started 4-H work. Her parents raised purebred Polled Hereford cattle, and instilled in their daughter a strong sense of community service. She received her bachelor's degree from Kansas State, but her graduate career took her to Penn State, where she received her master's and doctoral degrees in clothing and textiles. While a graduate student, she met her husband, Jim Starling, who served as a faculty member and administrator in agricultural sciences and now is senior associate dean emeritus. The Starlings have a daughter, Libby, who is director of policy, planning and measures in the Department of Economic Security for the State of Minnesota.

Starling's activities have run the gamut. She taught clothing and textiles at Virginia Tech and also Penn State. She established the awards program in the College Alumni Society. The College of Health and Human Development appointed her first an assistant to the dean, then director of alumni relations, and finally director of development. She spearheaded the $6 million effort to fund the Mateer Building, dedicated in 1993, and retired from the University in 1996.

Among her many current commitments, she is chair of the Centre County Community Foundation where she is leading the Centre County Early Childhood Education/School Readiness Initiative. She is a six-year member of the United Way of Pennsylvania Board of Directors, and an 11-year member of the Centre County United Way, where as board chair she concentrated her efforts on reorganization and breathed new life into the organization.

She is a volunteer fund-raiser for the College of Health and Human Development and Women in Philanthropy for the University's Grand Destiny seven-year capital campaign. Starling also chairs several Downtown State College Partnership initiatives and is the State College Borough coordinator for volunteers to weed public flower gardens.

Starling has been involved in a wide array of town-gown activities, including the 2000 National Governor's Association summer meeting, the Centre County Women's Resource Center Capital Campaign Committee, the Borough of State College Vision and Strategic Plan for Downtown, and as founding chair of the Citizen's Advisory Committee for Private Fund raising for the State College School District.

Since the Renaissance Fund's inception in 1969, more than $5.3 million in private contributions has been raised. During the 2000-01 academic year, nearly $500,000 in scholarships was awarded to 515 Renaissance scholars.

For Renaissance Dinner reservations, or to make a contribution to the Renaissance Fund, call Holly Robertson in the Office of Annual Giving at (814) 863-2052.

Back