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Student Fundraising Efforts Reach Milestone With Legacy Scholarship

“Students Helping Students Succeed” is the slogan that has driven fundraising efforts by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Student Government Association for the past four years, and those efforts have paid off with a fully endowed scholarship fund for Penn College students.

The Student Leader Legacy Scholarship Fund surpassed $25,000 at the end of the 2009-10 academic year. That level of funding will allow for a permanent source of financial assistance, with scholarship awards generated from earnings accrued on the account. As the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship Fund continues to grow, the size and/or number of scholarship awards will also continue to grow.

The Student Leader Legacy Scholarship Fund was established by SGA in 2006 as a way of encouraging and rewarding student leadership at Penn College and in the community. Recipients are selected from applicants who have demonstrated, through activities on campus and in the surrounding communities, a strong determination to continue the legacy of student leadership at Penn College. Applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 and at least one year of full-time status remaining in their studies.

While it was building to an endowed scholarship fund, the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship also reserved a portion of the funds raised each year to begin making scholarship awards right away. The initial award of $500 was made in Spring 2007. Two awards of $500 each were made in 2008, and awards of $1,000 each were made to one student each in 2009 and 2010. Megan R. Pennington, of Baltimore, was the recipient of the 2010 Student Leader Legacy Scholarship award.

James S. Riedel, ’07, oversaw the establishment of the scholarship fund while he served as SGA president.

“It’s been a real pleasure to watch the scholarship grow and evolve in these past few years,” he said. “I hope future students can keep the momentum up and continue to make a positive impact in the lives of the students this scholarship provides for. I hope this makes everyone feel as proud to come back as alumni as I am.”

The centerpiece of SGA’s fundraising efforts in the past two years has been an annual “Feed the Pig” drive encouraging students and Penn College employees to donate spare change in a piggy bank in the college’s Bush Campus Center. The fund has received a number of alumni donations, as well.

SGA has also undertaken a number of fundraising events for the scholarship fund, including donkey basketball games, car shows, bake sales and silent auctions. Jessica R. Larson, ’09, led the efforts to organize the first silent auction in Spring 2009.

“I am very pleased that the scholarship fund is now fully endowed, and I’ll be interested to see the students’ reactions,” she said. “It feels good to know that we have come all this way!”

Jim Finkler, annual giving officer at Penn College, has been advising SGA’s Executive Board on its efforts to raise funds and to educate other students about the importance of philanthropy.

“I commend past SGA Presidents Jim Riedel, Andrew Wisner, Brian Walton and Kyle Pfueller, as well as all of their vice presidents, other volunteers and the Student Activities staff, for all the work that brought us to this point,” Finkler said. “I look forward to working with 2010-11 SGA President Adam Yoder to continue this momentum and bring even more opportunities to students though this scholarship fund.”

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