New Kensington, Pa. — The Penn State Alumni Association reported to the University Board of Trustees today (July 10) that despite the challenging economic environment its membership has increased by nearly 500 and a new revenue-generating program has far surpassed its first-year goal.
David C. Han, Alumni Association immediate past president, outlined these achievements and others of the 2008–09 academic year, as well as reviewed the Alumni Association's strategic goals through the year 2013.
As of July 1, total membership in the Alumni Association is 161,234, an all-time high and 492 more than last year's membership number. Of this total, 95,857 were life members, also an all-time high.
"A key part of our mission is to involve alumni with the University and each other so the Alumni Association works tremendously hard to keep and increase its membership," said Han, a 1988 and 2005 Penn State graduate. "Being a member helps maintain those Penn State connections."
Another major achievement was the successful launch of the Sustaining Life Member Program. The program solicits voluntary contributions from longtime life members and has generated more than $168,000, far surpassing the $90,000 first-year goal. The money generated from this program will enable the Alumni Association to provide programs, events and services to strengthen its mission of support to alumni and alma mater.
Among other Alumni Association initiatives and accomplishments highlighted by Han were:
• Numerous new online efforts designed to engage alumni, including Facebook and LinkedIn groups, a blog by the staff of The Penn Stater magazine (pennstatermag.wordpress.com) and career-related Webinars.
Through its cultural events, Alumni Career Services programs, pep rallies, travel programs and other initiatives, the Alumni Association has made more than 82,000 individual connections with alumni in the past year.
• The Alumni Association in April announced that the second $300,000 installment of its $2.1 million gift for student scholarships will go to the College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State Abington, Penn State Greater Allegheny and Penn State Worthington Scranton. Each college or campus will receive $50,000, which will be matched by the University as part of the Trustee Matching Scholarship program. The Penn State Dickinson School of Law will receive $100,000, which is not matched, to support the recruitment of deserving Penn State undergrads.
• Ninety-five alumni groups affiliated with the Penn State Alumni Association have student scholarship endowments with a book value that totals nearly $5 million.
• Alumni Walk at the Hintz Family Alumni Center was officially dedicated during the 2008 Homecoming Weekend. The 4,000-brick-and-paver walkway raised more than $1.3 million, the proceeds of which significantly grew a dedicated Alumni Association endowment used to support the Lion Ambassadors, Blue & White Society and the FastStart mentoring program.
• The Alumni Association again increased its financial support to Penn State campuses, providing an additional 5 percent increase in support for alumni relations programs and networking events, bringing the total increase in the last three years to 20 percent.