Penn State Forever fan challenge to benefit microfinance match fund

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn Staters will have the opportunity to show their pride and help give back to the University during a social media fan challenge being held by the Penn State Office of Annual Giving this fall. From Oct. 1 to 14, Penn State students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends can participate in the Penn State Forever Fan Challenge by liking Penn State Forever on Facebook and following Penn State Forever on Twitter

For each new like or follow added during the challenge, Penn State alumnus Tom Sharbaugh will donate $1 to the Microfinance Match Loan Fund at Penn State. Therefore, each individual participating in the challenge can help contribute $2 to Penn State students in need and declare their support of fellow Penn Staters on social media. Sharbaugh will donate up to $10,000.

“This challenge is an opportunity to serve two purposes -- engaging Penn State fans in new ways on social media and providing additional support for students in need through the Microfinance Match Loan Fund,” Sharbaugh said. “Penn State, like many other institutions, is using social media for more of their regular communications because it reaches so many people so quickly. It is an effective way for everyone to share the great accomplishments of students and faculty at Penn State and get more involved with the University.”

The Microfinance Match Loan Fund is an emergency loan fund for Penn State students in need of financial aid. The loan is paid back by the student after graduation at a lower interest rate than private loans.

Penn State Forever, the Office of Annual Giving’s social media presence, showcases news and powerful stories illustrating the impact of private philanthropy at Penn State. Its Facebook news feed and Twitter handle feature examples of the student scholarships, faculty grants and community outreach programs that are made possible by annual support to the University.

“We are excited to try new ways of sharing the impact of private giving at Penn State, as well as aiding our students who need financial support,” said Ann Lehman, director of Annual Giving. “Penn Staters are a passionate group, and we hope they help us succeed in the challenge by sharing their own giving and impact stories, all while helping current students.”

The Penn State Forever Fan Challenge will help the University to reach the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, which is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State’s alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University’s tradition of quality. The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families.

The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014. To learn more about the fund and other ways to give back to Penn State, visit For more information on the Penn State Forever Fan Challenge, visit

'Like' the Penn State Forever page on Facebook and follow the effort on Twitter by Oct. 14 to help raise up to $10,000 for Penn State's Microfinance Match Loan Fund. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated October 04, 2012