Greetings from the Director
With enthusiasm and optimism, the Penn State family welcomed Eric J. Barron as our University’s 18th President on February 17, 2014. The appointment represents a homecoming for Dr. Barron, who served as dean of Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 to 2006.
There was much to applaud as Dr. Barron expressed his vision during his first press conference. I was particularly proud when he identified engaging students as one of his top priorities.
“If we can engage students in and outside of the classroom, then I’m absolutely convinced that they’ll be happier, they’ll make better choices in life, they’ll have stronger resumes, and they’ll get better jobs. This is a key opportunity,” he said.
As a University administrator, my first reaction to that statement was simply, “He gets it.”
The efforts of my team in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations are focused on supporting any initiative that helps Penn State Altoona students realize their academic goals along a chosen path to career success. Essentially, that mission is reflected in the name of Penn State’s current fundraising campaign: For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. For the Future was designed to support the fostering of a more vibrant community of learning and discovery throughout the Penn State system.
Identifying the needs and interests of Penn State Altoona students and determining the most effective ways to meet them are at the heart of our college’s current strategic planning process. The Office of Development and Alumni Relations, with the support of dedicated volunteers, leads a coordinated and collective effort to secure private giving that will create opportunities for achievement for our students and faculty. Educational enrichment is also a major focus of our alumni programming. Our Alumni Society continually seeks to initiate programs and activities that promote student interaction.
As Penn State alumni, we understand the value of the college education we received. So do Penn State volunteer leaders, benefactors, and legislative advocates across Pennsylvania, throughout our nation, and around the world.
Through personal engagement, you have the power to breathe life and meaning into the dreams and aspirations of Penn State Altoona students who seek to benefit intellectually, culturally, and socially from their undergraduate experiences. I am always eager to converse with our alumni and friends about the seemingly endless ways that a student’s life can be impacted through one individual’s philanthropy, leadership, and/or service. I invite you to contact me at IvyLink@psu.edu to discuss the many options for engagement that your alma mater makes available to you.
From experience, I can assure you that the benefits of that engagement are definitely mutual. Have a terrific month!
N. Susan Woodring
Director of Development and Alumni Relations