The Penn State College of Education received a $600,000 gift to fund the Open Doors Scholarship and a new endowment fund.
John and Maryann Gilmartin, who are "longtime friends" of the college, committed the gift, according to a press release. The gift will endow a $500,000 Open Doors Scholarship and an additional $100,000 to establish the María J. Schmidt Endowment Fund, named for the assistant dean for multicultural programs in the college.
The Open Doors Scholarship program assists students coming from low-income communities, students transferring to University Park from other Penn State commonwealth campuses, and students who are at risk of not graduating because of unexpected hardships.
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The endowment will support multicultural programs in the college, including the Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (S.C.O.P.E), the D.C. Social Justice Fellowship and other initiatives dedicated to furthering the college’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity.
Funds will also assist sustaining initiatives within the Office of Multicultural Programs.
“This most recent gift will help to ensure that our students will have the support they need while they are here, and also that they will leave Penn State with a much greater understanding of the diverse world they need to navigate upon graduation," Schmidt, the assistant dean for whom the endowment is named, said in the release.