Alle-Kiski Society's campaign donations hit $50,000

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Alumni group nearly doubles scholarship endowment in past four years

Alle-Kiski Society's campaign donations hit $50,000

At its June board meeting, the Alle-Kiski Society of the Penn State Alumni Association (PSAA), closed its books on the For the Future campaign with an additional $7,000 gift.

The latest donation to its scholarship fund at Penn State New Kensington raised the total endowment to $92,000. Four years ago, the book value of the fund was $51,000.

“We are pleased to continue our support of the students at Penn State New Kensington,” said Vera Spina, vice president of the society. "With the increase in the endowment, we will help even more local students achieve academic success.”

In 2010, Roger Williams, executive director of the PSAA, sent a clarion call to campus societies and alumni chapters throughout the Penn State system to add 50 percent to their current scholarship endowment by June 2014, the end of the seven-year fundraising effort, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.

The Alle-Kiski Society answered the call and fulfilled its $26,000 pledge a year ahead of schedule, increasing its scholarship from $51,000 to $77,000. At its February meeting, the society donated $7,500 more to the endowment. The latest donation effectively ups the principal by 78 percent.

Using the proceeds from the alumni golf tournament and bowl-a-thon, the society, which is based at Penn State New Kensington, was able to give the New Kensington campus a total of $41,000 for student upperclassmen scholarships.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the students of Penn State New Kensington and the individuals that give so much of themselves to our organization,” said Spina, who attended the campus before earning a journalism degree at Penn State University Park.

The Alle-Kiski Society Endowed Scholarship was established in 1992 with an initial principal of $15,000. Six years later, it was fully endowed at $25,000. Endowed gifts are held by the University in perpetuity. The initial gift is invested, and only a portion of the average annual investment return is spent. The remaining income is added to the principal as protection against inflation. The first campus recipient, Pat Neil, received a $500 scholarship. This past year, the society awarded $3,600 in scholarships to three New Kensington campus students: Joshua Swinehart, of Spring Church; Jennifer Phillips, of Vandergrift; and Caitlyn Cody, of Leechburg. For the upcoming academic year, the amount awarded jumps to $4,500.

Since 1998, the Alle-Kiski Society has given $40,000 to 48 students. In addition to fundraising, the Alle-Kiski Society engages in various campus projects throughout the year, interacting with former and current students by sponsoring social events and other networking activities.

During the For the Future campaign, the University-wide effort to raise $2.1 billion, the society donated $51,000 to the campus. In addition to its scholarship largesse, the alumni organization, which comprises Penn State graduates from the New Kensington and University Park campuses, made a $10,000 gift to campus athletics for equipment for the cardiovascular fitness room. The society also sponsors a reception for more than 100 campus students and their families for their accomplishments at the annual Academic and Student Achievement Awards ceremony.

The alumni society was not the only Penn State entity to surpass its goal, The New Kensington campus raised $3.86 million, nearly 130 percent of the original goal of $3 million. Students were the main beneficiaries of campus donors’ largesse, as they garnered $1.2 million in scholarship support. Twenty new scholarships -- 16 $50,000 trustee matching scholarships; three general scholarships and an educational endowment -- and three program awards were created during the campaign.

Alumni are encouraged to connect with fellow Penn Staters at society events and monthly meetings, which are held 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at the campus or at an off-campus venue. The next meeting is set for Aug. 18 at the Elks Club on Sixth Avenue in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. 

The next fundraising event is the 15th annual alumni golf tournament at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at The Links at Spring Church, in Apollo, Pennsylvania. The shotgun-start tournament is open to alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends of Penn State. The entry fee is $110 and includes greens fee and cart, lunch, dinner, prizes and refreshments on the course. A foursome may sign up, or individuals may sign up and be assigned to a short-handed team. Various golf packages are available including foursomes, tee sponsorships and "dinner only." Tee sponsorships are available for $100. For information, contact Bill Woodard at 724-334-6049 or

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Bill Woodard

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Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

Last Updated July 09, 2014
  • Image: Bill Woodard

    Josh Swinehart, right, a 2014 recipent of an Alle-Kiski Society scholarship, received his bachelor's degree in psychology with distinction from Chancellor Kevin Snider at spring commencement 2014. 

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