Brandywine alumni raise $50,000 for scholarship, Board of Trustees matches gift

MEDIA, Pa. — After a five-year campaign effort, the Penn State Brandywine Alumni Society has raised $50,000 for a student scholarship — a number that will be doubled by the Penn State Board of Trustees.

The scholarship, called the Brandywine Alumni Society Trustee Scholarship, was proposed in 2011 and finalized in early 2012.

“This was part of the For the Future campaign, which the University launched in 2011,” said Shawn Manderson, Brandywine advisory board member and former president of the Brandywine Alumni Society.

The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll at Penn State Brandywine. Students are considered for the scholarship based on demonstrated need.

To maintain the scholarship in perpetuity, the Penn State Board of Trustees had to receive a minimum of $50,000 by summer 2016. Upon meeting that goal, the board would match it dollar-for-dollar, creating a $100,000 scholarship for Brandywine students.

The Brandywine Alumni Society seized the opportunity to create a strong resource for its student body.

“We knew right away that we wanted to commit,” said Manderson. “Out of all the Penn State alumni societies, we are one of the few that actually signed up for this and completed it. We didn’t do it as quickly as some, but we’re also a newer society, so this was a big achievement.”

The Brandywine Alumni Society began collecting funds for the scholarship in 2012 under Manderson’s direction. The effort was then continued by his successor and current president of the society, Ty McGilberry.

“The first year we deposited almost $16,000 into the scholarship from our fundraising activities,” said McGilberry. “In our last two years, we raised almost $30,000.”

The society met its $50,000 goal through a series of creative fundraising efforts. Among other initiatives, it partnered with craft shows; held a 5K; and hosted bingo nights, football watch parties and silent auctions.

“We also got many donations from within the society,” said Manderson. “We can’t forget the many Brandywine alumni who simply gave out of the kindness of their hearts.”

“It was a complete team effort,” said McGilberry. “If it wasn’t for the hard work and volunteerism of our board, the scholarship would never have been created or funded.”

Raising the $50,000 and seeing it matched was a proud moment for Manderson, McGilberry and the entire Brandywine Alumni Society. The group has high hopes for both the scholarship and its recipients.

“I hope this will allow future students to get a quality education from one of the best universities in the world,” said McGilberry. “I also hope it becomes part of the lasting legacy envisioned by Shawn Manderson. He saw the society as a change agent for connecting with young alumni.”

Penn State’s alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University’s land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom, expand the research and teaching capacity of our faculty, enhance the University’s ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty, and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The University’s colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.