UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—The Office of University Development has established the Penn State Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board to promote the inclusion and engagement of women as fundraising volunteers and donors across the University. The members of the board will include a diverse group of fundraising volunteers, donors, alumni, staff and University leaders.
“Women are increasingly leading a new era in American philanthropy, and Penn State recognizes the growing opportunity to more deliberately and proactively engage women in the philanthropic life of the institution,” said O. Richard Bundy III, vice president for development and alumni relations. “The Penn State Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board will help to ensure that we are tapping the full potential of women as volunteers, donors and leaders.”
Advancing the University’s current fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” while positioning the institution for future efforts, the board will work collaboratively with the Office of Volunteer Programs to strengthen the relationship between the Office of University Development and traditionally underrepresented groups, with a specific focus on donors and volunteers who identify as women.
In establishing the Penn State Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board, the Office of University Development seeks to advance four strategic goals:
- Increase participation among female donors and volunteers;
- Advance alumnae into key volunteer leadership roles at the University;
- Prepare development staff to engage with diverse constituencies of donors and volunteers, especially women; and
- Empower female leaders in their service to Penn State, whether as students, employees, donors or volunteers.
The Penn State Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board is part of a broader effort within the Division of Development and Alumni Relations to advance diversity, equity and inclusion among its staff and external constituencies.
The inaugural cohort of board members will include the following individuals:
- E. Lee Beard, 1999 honorary, longtime fundraising volunteer leader and donor
- Molly Barron, first lady, Penn State
- Jenn Bauer, 2010 bachelor of business, wellness consultant for Chase the Light Wellness and freelance writer
- Barbara Dewey, dean of the University Libraries
- Charleon Jeffries, 2011 bachelor of education, 2014 master of education, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Division of Development and Alumni Relations
- Jose Lugaro, 1998 bachelor of business, director of development for the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
- Katie Schumacher-Cawley, 2002 bachelor of communications, assistant coach for Penn State Women’s Volleyball
- Susan Sokolov, 1971 bachelor of education, 1972 master of education, community volunteer, philanthropist and benefactor
“In my career I have been fortunate to interact with strong, influential women who have made a difference for me,” said Lee Beard, chair of the Penn State Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board and a retired executive in the financial services industry. “The Penn State Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board will help Penn State to identify ways to offer such women the opportunity to enhance the impact the University is having in so many aspects of the world.”
Staffing the board will be Brenda Walker, director of the Office of Volunteer Programs, and Haley Staub, 2018 bachelor in communications, assistant director of volunteer programs.
“Women have a critical role to play in shaping Penn State’s future, and the Penn State Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board will help us to create an environment where women feel empowered and inspired to join our philanthropic efforts,” said Walker. “The Office of Volunteer Programs is thrilled to launch this board and begin this important work.”
The Penn State Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board hosted preliminary meetings in 2018 and will begin meeting as a full board early in 2019.