Penn State-Wilkes-Barre celebrates success in ‘Greater Penn State’ campaign

Two people standing with the Nittany Lion between them.

Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campaign Co-Chairs Jill Schwartz and David Payne Jr. at the campus campaign closing celebration event.

Credit: Penn State

DALLAS, Pa.— Penn State Wilkes-Barre has raised more than $6.06 million, exceeding the campus campaign goal and helping the University to achieve record-breaking success in its recently concluded campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.” June 30 marked the end of both the most successful campaign and the most successful fundraising year in the institution’s history.

The total represents a new fundraising high for Penn State Wilkes-Barre and a transformative investment by numerous alumni, friends, corporate partners, foundations and others in its mission to educate, inspire and empower students and the community at large.

“We are so grateful to our supporters for allowing us to exceed our campus campaign goal, even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic the last several years,” Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Lynda Goldstein said. “Because of Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s generous supporters, the campus can continue to provide a world-class education to our students, including the over 50% who are the first in their families to attend college and the more than 85% who qualify for need-based financial aid.”

The campaign, which began in 2016, was focused on the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. At Penn State Wilkes-Barre, top campaign gifts and priorities included:

  • Gifts to establish and fund scholarships, including significant support for the Open Doors Scholarship Program, the creation of the multimillion George Bierly Endowment for Scholarship, a gift of $500,000 to create the Struthers Family Open Doors Scholarship and the creation of the first campus scholarship for military and veteran students.
  • Program support, including more than $1 million in gifts in kind of equipment and software to support the campus Information Sciences and Technology and Surveying Engineering programs, the creation of endowments to support entrepreneurship and economic development, the first military student support program endowment and campus advisory board and community support for the campus student emergency fund and student food bank during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Engaged scholarly support, including the creation of the first student internship student support fund and the first award for military and veteran students.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported the campaign, along with our dedicated campaign volunteers,” said Jill Schwartz, who co-chaired the campaign with David Payne Jr. “Our campaign committee has spent six years making connections in our community and sharing the great things that are happening at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. Without their efforts, this campaign total would not have been possible.”

The campus thanked supporters at a campaign closing celebration, hosted at Huntsville Golf Club in Dallas, Pennsylvania.

With the record-breaking success of “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” which raised $2.2 billion from 2016 to 2022, philanthropy is helping to sustain the University’s tradition of education, research and service to communities across the commonwealth and around the globe. Scholarships enable our institution to open doors and welcome students from every background, support for transformative experiences allows our students and faculty to fulfill their vast potential for leadership, and gifts toward discovery and excellence help us to serve and impact the world we share. To learn more about the impact of giving and the continuing need for support, please visit