Scholarship supports students who foster inclusive climate for LGBTQ community

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new scholarship at Penn State will support students who focus on combating homophobia. Bob Deibler, president of the Schlegel Deibler Charitable Foundation, established The Richard Lamar Schlegel Scholarship in memory of his cousin Richard Schlegel.

“Richard was faced with and suffered consequences because he was gay, and he determined that he would do what he could to help eradicate bigotry,” said Deibler. “The Foundation feels that by teaming up with Penn State we will be able to help affect the lives of worthy students who will possibly bring about tolerance and respect for the LGBTQ community.”

Schlegel was a proud University alumnus and made previous gifts to Penn State during his lifetime.

The Richard Lamar Schlegel Scholarship will support full-time undergraduate students who have a demonstrated financial need and whose academic studies, co-curricular studies, volunteerism, leadership, student organization interests, advocacy, projects and/or internships focus on the origins and practices of homophobia and/or countermeasures against fear and discrimination, which homophobia engenders.

"The LGBTQA Student Resource Center is dedicated to encouraging active engagement and social change within and outside the LGBTQ+ community,” said Brian Patchcoski, director of the LGBTQA Student Resource Center, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs. “Gifts from alumni like Richard allow us to provide resources and support to our students eager to foster a climate that is ever more inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals, both at Penn State, and in the world. We are grateful to the Schlegel Deibler Charitable foundation for this gift and believe it will continue to serve and honor Richard's memory in thought, deed, and action for generations to come."   

Through the University’s new fundraising campaign, "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," Penn State is partnering with donors by offering a University match. The First-Time Endowed Scholarship Donor Matching Program provides a 1:1 match for donors who create their first endowed scholarship at Penn State during the Greater Penn State campaign. To qualify, scholarships must support undergraduate students who demonstrate need. The purpose of this program is to attract new scholarship endowment donors to create need-based scholarships at the University.

Members of the University and community interested in supporting LGBTQ students can contact Andrea Pagano-Reyes, director of development for University Programs, at or visit

Gifts from Penn State’s alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the door to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, please visit

Last Updated October 12, 2017