The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


June 6, 2014

SharonSteel Foundation creates $1 million Penn State scholarship

SHARON — The SharonSteel Foundation has committed to give $1 million to Penn State Shenango to create the SharonSteel Foundation Trustee Scholarship, the local college campus announced Thursday.

Students with financial need who attend Penn State Shenango will be given first preference to receive the scholarship.

SharonSteel Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by the defunct Sharon Steel Corp. which operated a steel plant in Farrell. Sharon Steel closed its doors for good in 1992 and was liquidated in bankruptcy. Operating independently of Sharon Steel, the foundation survived and continues to donate funds to area charities and non-profit organizations.  

“The SharonSteel Foundation has been a longtime donor and partner with Penn State Shenango, and we are thrilled to see this relationship culminate in one of the largest gifts in our campus history,” said Dr. Jo Anne Carrick, Penn State Shenango campus director. “Nearly 40 percent of Penn State Shenango students come from low-income families, and this scholarship will ensure many of these students will have access to a world-class Penn State education in perpetuity.

“On behalf of Penn State Shenango and the generations of students who will benefit, we are extremely grateful for this tremendous philanthropy.”

Money from the foundation will be funnled into PSU’s Trustee Matching Scholarship Program. It maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. Under the program Penn State will provide an annual 10 percent match of the total pledge or gift.

This level is an increase from the program’s original match of 5 percent, and it is available only for new endowments of $50,000 or more. PSU’s match, which is about double the endowment’s annual spendable income, continues in perpetuity, multiplying the support available for students with financial need.

“The SharonSteel Foundation was created to benefit the families of the Shenango Valley, and this scholarship was the best way to carry on the legacy and intent of the first trustees,” said Malvin Sander, trustee of the SharonSteel Foundation. “Education is the path to a better future for everyone in our society, and we hope the SharonSteel Foundation Trustee Scholarship will provide that future for students at Penn State Shenango for years to come.”

Created in 1953, the foundation has given more than $1 million to Penn State Shenango since 1996.

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