Dedicated Service & Leadership Award
This award recognizes a benefactor of Penn State Brandywine who demonstrates exceptional generosity, dedication, and civic vision on behalf of Brandywine students and the campus community. Recipients personify humanity, compassion, and the essence of philanthropy, while motivating and inspiring others to help advance the Brandywine mission.
2018 Honoree: Gerald '74 and Eleanor Parsons
Gerald “Jerry” Parsons graduated from Penn State in 1974 with a degree in engineering. Before completing his degree at the Harrisburg campus, he was among the first students to attend Brandywine, then called the Delaware County campus, in its current location. As an alumnus, Jerry and his wife, Eleanor, have been instrumental in helping the Brandywine campus grow from one building to the six-building, 112-acre campus it is today.
In 1975, Jerry founded Communications Test Design, Inc. with his father and brother. He now serves as chairman and CEO of CTDI, a global engineering, repair and logistics company headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Jerry is an active member of the Brandywine Advisory Board where he served as president for many years and recruited other Advisory Board members. He also serves on the Penn State Global Advisory Council and is a powerful community advocate for the campus and its students. Jerry was a key member of the group that helped the campus raise more than $6.8 million during the University's "For the Future" campaign, surpassing its goal of $6 million. Eleanor has also served as a dedicated volunteer for the Brandywine campus, contributing her time and support to past fundraising event committees. Along with Jerry, Eleanor is active in generating community support for the success and growth of the Brandywine campus.
In 2017, Jerry and Eleanor made a generous commitment to name “Parsons Hall,” the dining area in the new Student Union. Parsons Hall is a central meeting place for all Brandywine students, whether they live on campus, off campus, or commute from home.
The Parsons are not only generous benefactors to Brandywine, but they have also dedicated an enormous amount of their time to the campus over the years. Jerry and Eleanor are models of generosity, dedication and civic vision on behalf of Brandywine students and the campus community. Their generosity personifies humanity, compassion, and the essence of philanthropy, and they motivate and inspire others to help advance the Brandywine mission.
Community Partner Award
The Community Partner Award recognizes a business or foundation that has modeled partnership, philanthropy, and support of the Penn State Brandywine campus and our students.
2018 Honoree: W.W. Smith Charitable Trust
The W. W. Smith Charitable Trust is a private foundation established by William Wikoff Smith. The Trust is specifically focused on supporting areas involving basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter; supplementing higher education scholarship programs; supporting maritime education and maritime heritage preservation; and basic medical research primarily in heart disease, cancer, and AIDS.
Since 1991, the Trust has supported hundreds of Brandywine students from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties as well as the City of Camden, New Jersey with scholarships.
The Lion’s Heart Community Partner Award recognizes a business or foundation that has modeled partnership, philanthropy, and support of Penn State Brandywine and our students. After a 27-year campus partnership and more than $925,000 awarded in scholarships to high-need Brandywine students, the W. W. Smith Charitable Trust has truly established its place as an exemplary model of philanthropic partnership within Penn State and the surrounding Philadelphia community.
Young Alumni Award
The Young Alumni Award recognizes a graduate of Penn State who completed their degree within the last 15 years and attended Brandywine for one semester or more, for their outstanding professional achievement, dedication to community service, and impact within the Penn State community.
2018 Honoree: Shawn Manderson '03
Shawn Manderson graduated from Penn State in 2003 with a degree in information sciences and technology. As a Brandywine student, Shawn was active in the Student Government Association, wrote for the student newspaper, played intramural basketball and baseball, and interned with the campus Information Technology Services Department.
Following graduation, Shawn found great success in his field, working as a consultant in Ernst and Young’s Risk Advisory Services practice and ARAMARK’s Corporate Audit and Controls Services division. Shawn obtained his Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) designation in 2010 and he joined the internal audit department of the FMC Corporation in 2012. In 2016, Shawn joined ADP, where he is now the Director of Global SOCR Compliance Program & Integrated Assurance Audit.
While navigating a successful and demanding career, Shawn still finds time to dedicate to Penn State as an active member of the Alumni Council, the governing body of the Penn State Alumni Association. Shawn previously served two terms as president of the Brandywine Alumni Society board. In that role, he helped keep alumni and students connected to the campus by hosting graduation dinners, networking events and fundraisers, and chartering an alumni-student mentoring group. Shawn also spearheaded the establishment of the Penn State Brandywine Alumni Society Trustee Matching Scholarship, which supports students with financial need at Penn State Brandywine.
He recently established the Shawn Manderson Open Doors Scholarship at Penn State Brandywine to provide financial support for high-need Brandywine students as they complete their degree.
In Shawn’s 15 years since graduation, he has shown a fierce passion and dedication to Penn State and the Brandywine campus, all while achieving tremendous success in his professional career.