HAZLETON, Pa. — A scholarship program funded by the estate of Penn State Hazleton supporter and longtime philanthropist Pasco L. Schiavo has been established at the campus, Chancellor Gary M. Lawler has announced.
Through an initial gift of $105,000, the Pasco L. Schiavo Scholars Program will award scholarships to first-year, baccalaureate degree-seeking students at Penn State Hazleton. Graduates of Immanuel Christian School, Weatherly Area High School, or a high school in the Hazleton Area School District are eligible for the award.
“Pasco always envisioned a bright future for the Hazleton area,” said his sister, Linda L. Schiavo. “He felt that the best possible education for our young people must be provided right here in the Hazleton area so that we can have the thriving community that he believed Hazleton could and should have.”
Pasco L. Schiavo, for whom the program is named, is one of the largest benefactors in Penn State Hazleton history. His commitment to the campus community spanned nearly 60 years and included roles as donor, instructor, volunteer, and president of the campus advisory board.
“This transformational gift for students seeking a degree is yet another testament to Pasco’s legacy as an advocate for Penn State Hazleton and the Hazleton community,” Lawler said. “We are honored to establish the Pasco L. Schiavo Scholars Program in his memory and grateful for the educational opportunities it will provide to Penn State Hazleton students for years to come.”
The scholarship program is established from the Pasco L. Schiavo Charitable Foundation Trust, of which Linda L. Schiavo and PNC Bank, N.A., serve as co-trustees. The trust, funded through the sale of real estate held by Pasco L. Schiavo’s estate, aims to support area business projects and provide educational funds for students from the Hazleton and Weatherly areas through efforts such as the scholars program.
The scholarship adds to the legacy Pasco L. Schiavo established at the campus, helping local students overcome the financial strain that might otherwise impede them from pursuing a college education. He established and endowed the Pasco L. Schiavo Open Doors Scholarship and, in memory of his parents, the Louis and Josephine Shayna Schiavo Scholarship and the Louis and Josephine Shayna Schiavo Trustee Scholarship.
In 2014, the campus honored a $1 million gift from Pasco L. Schiavo by naming the campus administration building Pasco L. Schiavo Hall. During the ceremony, he was recognized by campus and University leadership and family and friends for his dedication to students and the campus. The celebration also featured the unveiling of the building signage, presentation of a plaque installed in the lobby, and Pasco L. Schiavo’s induction into the distinguished Laurel Circle of the Mount Nittany Society.
A $1 million gift from his estate was honored in 2019 by the naming of the Hazleton LaunchBox supported by Pasco L. Schiavo, Esq. The LaunchBox provides early-stage startups with the tools to build a sustainable business and a viable plan for growth. Since opening its doors in fall 2019, it has supported more than 200 community members and provided services for more than 30 businesses.
Pasco L. Schiavo’s legacy of leadership in the region follows that of his late father, Louis, and late grandfather, attorney Pasco Schiavo, who were also supportive of the Greater Hazleton community. The elder Pasco assisted and advocated for the area’s immigrants at that time.
Among his other impacts, Pasco L. Schiavo served as the chair of Penn State Hazleton’s efforts in the University-wide “For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.” His leadership efforts helped the campus raise $7.6 million, more than 125 percent of the campaign goal.
Born and raised in Hazleton, Pasco L. Schiavo taught law and Spanish at Penn State Hazleton on a part-time basis for seven years beginning in the 1960s. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania law school, he went on to become a Luzerne County assistant district attorney, a member of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and a designated "Super Lawyer" with his own legal practice.
In 2015, he was named an honorary alumnus and recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association. He died in 2018.
“Pasco was someone who was always busy working on something that would benefit people years in the future,” Linda said. “That’s why it is so great to see his dreams now helping future generations of Hazleton residents meet their dreams.”
This gift will advance “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hard-working 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. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.