UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Smeal College of Business alumna Bonnie Yormack and her husband, Rob, believe there are only a handful of universities that can provide students with world-class academic and athletics experiences, and they consider Penn State one of the best.
To help strengthen both areas of the University, the Yormacks recently made an estate commitment to create two scholarships for accounting students in the Penn State Smeal College of Business — the Bonnie and Robert Yormack Scholarship and the Jerome O. Markowitz Scholarship in Accounting. They also pledged to support Penn State Athletics.
The two need-based scholarships will benefit full-time undergraduate students majoring in or planning to major in accounting, including students enrolled in the integrated Master of Accounting (MAcc) program, who have demonstrated academic success.
The Yormacks said the decision to create the scholarships was an easy one.
“It feels good to give back and to help others,” Bonnie Yormack said. “As Penn Staters, we are always saying ‘We Are.’ This is one way that we can continue to be a part of the Penn State community long after we are gone.”
One of the Yormacks’ scholarships will honor Bonnie’s father, Jerome “Jerry” Markowitz, who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1949, but ultimately pursued a career in accounting. He founded Lynn-Mark Enterprises, a full-service boutique accounting firm that has been providing services for individuals and small businesses since 1976. He passed away in November 2020.
“This scholarship creates a legacy for him. Knowing that my dad will always be a part of the University in this way has given me a tremendous amount of comfort,” Bonnie Yormack said.
Dean Charles H. Whiteman said access to an affordable education has been a priority for Smeal throughout the University’s “A Greater Penn State For 21st Century Excellence” fundraising campaign.
“The Yormacks’ gifts will better position our accounting students to focus on their studies and to participate in the myriad cocurricular opportunities a Smeal education offers, and I am grateful for their support,” he said.
The couple also chose to support Penn State Athletics with their estate commitment, which will offer the flexibility to support the area or areas of greatest need at the time their gift is realized.
Previously, the Yormacks made contributions to support facility enhancement projects for men’s and women’s basketball and the University’s Locker Room Naming Project.
“When you go to a school like Penn State, the atmosphere around athletics, going to games, it really deepens your connection to your school,” said Rob Yormack. “That’s certainly been true for our family.”
The Yormacks said they hope their gift will play a small role in helping the University be successful in multiple sports and enhancing the Penn State experience for students and alumni.
According to Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, the Yormacks’ gift will impact Penn State Athletics in many ways.
“They say a ‘rising tide lifts all ships,’ and Rob and Bonnie are certainly helping lift our programs through their support. We appreciate their trust that their estate gift will be put to the best use on behalf of Penn State student-athletes. Our One Team — 31 varsity programs and more than 800 student-athletes — say thank you,” Barbour said.
Bonnie Yormack earned a degree in marketing from the Smeal College of Business in 1989. She joined her father at Lynn-Mark Enterprises in 1991. Today she is principal of the now all-woman firm. She was appointed to Smeal’s External Accounting Advisory Board in 2020.
Rob Yormack graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in finance in 1995. He joined Pioneer Industries Inc. — one of the largest Defense Logistics Agency suppliers in the country — after graduation and is now the firm’s vice president.
The Yormacks said their philosophy for giving is simple.
“It’s important to us that we recognize and appreciate the people and institutions that have shaped us,” said Rob Yormack.
Bonnie Yormack added that it was incredibly rewarding to be in a position to enrich someone else’s life through philanthropy.
“This is one of the most important lessons we can share with our children, Jason and Stephanie, and with the greater Penn State community,” she said.
These gifts 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 hardworking 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.