UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Longtime friends of the Penn State College of Education, John and Maryann Gilmartin, have committed $600,000 to the college.
The gift will endow a $500,000 Open Doors Scholarship and establish the $100,000 María J. Schmidt Endowed Program Fund, named for the current assistant dean for multicultural programs in the College of Education.
The Open Doors Scholarship Program is a University-wide effort that aims to address the financial, academic and personal challenges undergraduates face earning their degrees. Donors create scholarships for students with financial need who are enrolled in one of five programs Penn State has created to help undergraduates succeed academically. Beneficiaries of the programs include students from low-income areas, those who are transferring to the University Park campus from another Penn State campus, those who are at risk of not graduating due to unexpected hardships, and others who may benefit from extra support.
The endowment is intended to support multicultural programs in the college, including the Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (S.C.O.P.E.) and the D.C. Social Justice Fellowship course, as well as other initiatives that further the college’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Funds will be used to cover the expenses associated with travel, conference attendance and registration fees, supplies and materials, and other general operating expenses of the programs.
“I’m honored beyond words,” said Schmidt. “This gift from John and Maryann Gilmartin is one of the most meaningful forms of validation and recognition, personal and professional, I have ever received. It recognizes not only my work, but the work and passion of the multicultural programs team.”
Schmidt said proceeds from the endowment will help in sustaining programmatic efforts in the Office of Multicultural Programs.
“We will be able to provide further academic support and increase access and opportunities for professional development to underserved students in the college. It also will assist in providing professional learning opportunities to the College of Education community at large,” Schmidt said.