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Women's soccer student-athlete Raquel Rodriguez speaks at the Campaign Celebration Friday evening.
April 14, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Penn State celebrated the university-wide "For the Future" Campaign in historic fashion this past weekend, announcing $2.158 billion in private fundraising to become one of 12 public U.S. universities to exceed a $2 billion campaign goal.
Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics has raised $350,761,353 during the seven-year campaign, which will officially close on June 30, 2014.
"For The Future again demonstrated the passion and pride that Penn Staters have in furthering the mission of the University and enhancing the opportunities and experiences for our students," said Dave Joyner, Director of Athletics. "We are grateful for the support of our donors in joining Intercollegiate Athletics in our commitment to providing Penn State student-athletes with an opportunity to earn a world-class education and compete at the highest level with integrity and respect."
The $350.76 million raised by the Nittany Lion Club surpassed the revised campaign goal of $300 million. In 2013-14 alone, approximately 35,000 gifts were made to intercollegiate athletics. As a result of the campaign, Penn State Athletics has more than 200 new endowed scholarships and more than 1,600 student-athletes received scholarship assistance from funds that received a gift during the campaign.
During the "For the Future" campaign, Penn State Athletics completed three major building initiatives, including the Pegula Ice Arena that featured the largest individual gift in University history, $102 million donation from Terry and Kim Pegula. The Pegula's gift also providing the funding to establish an NCAA Division I men's hockey program. Athletics also completed the Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field and the Tombros Varsity Golf Clubhouse as part of the initiative.
"The commitment of so many people has transformed Penn State and Penn State Athletics today and well into the future," said Mark Wharton, Assistant Athletic Director - Nittany Lion Club. "It shows the pride and passion of Nittany Nation. Penn State is a special place with exceptional student-athletes who represent the university with honor and distinction."
"I want to thank Rick Sokolov, our campaign chairman, for the leadership and support he provided throughout this effort and express my sincere appreciation to all our dedicated cadre of volunteers for their unwavering support," said Ken Cutler, Director of Development for Athletics-Major Gifts. "They, along with our generous campaign donors made this dream a reality for Penn State Athletics and our wonderful student-athletes and we are extremely grateful for all they have done and will continue do for our program."
During the campaign, nearly 235,000 unrestricted Nittany Lion Club gifts totaling $104 million went to student-athlete scholarships and provided funds for operational expenses that directly impact student-athletes, including academic and medical support.
Penn State Athletics has achieved tremendous success in competition and in the classroom since the campaign opened on Jan. 1, 2007. Penn State teams have claimed 15 NCAA Championships, tied with USC for most in the nation in that span, 38 Big Ten Championships and 47 conference championships over the past seven-plus years. Penn State student-athletes have posted an 88 percent graduation rate with 283 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars (GPA of 3.7 and above), 1,856 Academic All-Big Ten honorees and 45 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors during the campaign.