University fundraising campaign making strong progress

Penn State is hoping to raise $1.6 billion for its A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence campaign. Credit: Penn State / Haley KerstetterAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—A year and a half into the University’s five-year fundraising campaign, A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, progress toward the $1.6 billion effort is strong. With 33 percent of the campaign’s duration elapsed, the University has raised more than $589 million, nearly 37 percent of the campaign goal.  

“We are grateful to the many alumni and friends who have enabled us to build extraordinary momentum toward A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “Our supporters have responded with enthusiasm and generosity to our gift matching opportunities, particularly the opportunities to create Open Doors Scholarships and support economic development initiatives. Their gifts have enabled us to make great strides towards these important University priorities.”

Through the Open Doors Scholarship Program, donors can leverage a 2:1 University match when they create need-based scholarships to support students in the University’s Open Doors programs, designed to help students overcome the obstacles they may face on the path to graduation. Since the University began this opportunity on July 1, 2017, donors have created 163 Open Doors Scholarships with a total of $8.9 million in gifts, for a total impact of $26.8 million. The Open Doors Scholarship Program will continue until June 30, 2018.   

Donors can also multiply the impact of their gifts when they support economic development initiatives, such as the 17 innovation hubs the University has created across the Commonwealth. When the endowment for an innovation hub reaches $1 million, the University will contribute an additional $1 million in matching funds to support the innovation hub in perpetuity. PNC Bank has led this effort with a $1 million commitment to name the Happy Valley LaunchBox, Powered by PNC Bank. Donors can also leverage a 1:1 University match when they support select economic development initiatives in any of Penn State’s colleges or campuses.

“Our goals for A Greater Penn State are ambitious, but Penn State supporters are stepping forward in great numbers to help us realize those goals and advance key University initiatives,” said O. Richard Bundy III, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations. “Record levels of donor support have helped us make tremendous progress in the first half of this fiscal year, and this progress will serve us well as we move forward with the campaign.”

The University’s fundraising results as of Dec. 31, 2017, which concluded the first half of fiscal year 2017-18, achieved several milestones. December 2017 was the University’s second best month ever—and the best December ever—for gift receipts and commitments. The October, November and December period was the University’s second best quarter ever for commitments. The first six months of the fiscal year were the best first six months ever for receipts.

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, visit

Last Updated February 28, 2018