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Our department has been fortunate to receive private gift support for many years. These funds provide much needed assistance to undergraduate and graduate students through scholarships and assistantships. The department is very grateful that financial investments and individual gifts have established a few faculty endowments in our area as well.

Those who make gifts are often giving back to that which they loved as students themselves and because they want to be sure others in the future will have the same access and opportunity. At the same time, our friends and partners in the corporate world and in private industry believe so strongly that we are committed to such high standards of excellence, as well as the advancement of nutritional science education, research, and public service, that they choose to invest in us—in order to secure the future of innovation and the frontiers of science and discovery taking place.

We extend our deep appreciation to every individual and organization that has provided support to us at all levels and we invite all graduates and friends to become a part of this experience and invest in us as well.

Private gift support is one of the only safety nets available to us as public funds continue to decline. In the challenging economic times that we all experience, everyone can still play a part in securing and defining the future of this department—its faculty, its students, its research, and its promise—by making a gift of their own and by raising the level of participation from alumni and friends. Our own faculty and staff are very committed to this effort as they are making their own personal gifts that help to support the department.

Three specific endowments symbolize areas of priority as they address the needs of the department overall and its students. Two are named for faculty members known to many.

The John L. Beard Program Endowment serves the needs of graduate students in the department and was established to forever honor the memory of Dr. John Beard, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, who died in February 2009. His endowment, made possible by many who knew him as a brilliant teacher, researcher, colleague, friend, and family member, supports research and travel by graduate students, particularly those whose research involves iron nutrition, through participation in conferences and professional development activities.

The Helen Wright Trustee Scholarship was formed with gifts of many former students, colleagues, admirers, and friends to honor Dr. Wright’s tremendous contributions to teaching and commitment to her students. It supports undergraduates with significant financial need who are majoring in Nutrition. Its establishment was achieved through a bundling of gifts from many alumni and friends of the program. It received the endorsement and full participation by the board members of the department’s own alumni organization, the Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society.

The Dora Colver Endowment was established by an alumna who received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Home Economics here and served as a faculty member teaching nutrition courses at Ohio State. While at Ohio State for more than thirty years, her love of the “unforgettable Penn State experience” she received remained paramount to her. She established this fund to assist with general program needs. It can provide a wide variety of support for unanticipated expenses including the purchase of equipment, bridging funding between research grants, professional training and travel for faculty, or for investment in a variety of areas including scientific investigation or teaching resources. Thus, its name – “The Colver Endowment for Excellence and Innovation” was not chosen lightly!

These funds are highlighted because they serve as examples of wonderful platforms on which to build additional support. As endowments they will continue to provide support to the department for many years. They will stand the test of time and as they grow, the benefits to their beneficiaries will grow as well.

Every gift designated to any area within the department is an endorsement of someone’s interest and belief in what we are doing. Please let us know how and when you wish to make your own imprint on our efforts. We are engaged in an exciting and dynamic fundraising initiative and encourage you to participate in For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. Join us in this effort and be a part of this important campaign.

Any of these important funds will benefit significantly from private gift support. And, we always want to know of your specific area of interest. Gifts can be made in various ways, including by check, made payable to Penn State. Please include a notation on the memo line or on a note indicating your specific designation and send to Penn State University, College of Health and Human Development, Development Office, 201 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802.

You can also log onto to make an online gift. Select “other” from the drop down menu and add your designation on the “Additional Information” line. If you wish to make your gift over the phone, please call the Development Office at 814-865-1062 and speak personally with one of the staff members there.