You Can't Take it With You: Fredina Ingold - Spring 2004 Ivy Leaf Magazine

Ivy Leaf - Spring 2004

You Can't Take it With You

Fredina Ingold

Fredina Ingold's philosophy on philanthropy is guided by the principal that "when you die, you can't take your money with you, but the good things you do with it go on forever."

A 1975 Penn State graduate and the director of intercollegiate athletics at Penn State Altoona, Ingold recently demonstrated her commitment to the College and the program she administers with the creation of "The Fredina M. Ingold Intercollegiate Athletics Enhancement Endowment." This $25,000 gift to Penn State Altoona most significantly reflects her appreciation for all the friendships and treasured memories that are by-products of a remarkable 26-year tenure at Ivyside Park.

Not long into a conversation with Ingold, it is clear that the greatest joys in her life are not the many personal and professional achievements that distinguish her career. Rather, what Ingold cherishes most are her husband, Rand Allison, and daughter, Taylor, and the many relationships with colleagues, alumni, and students that have been nurtured throughout the years. These relationships have served as the motivation behind Ingold's creation of this athletic enhancement endowment.

The endowment, the first of its kind at Penn State Altoona, will provide discretionary funds that are crucial to moving Intercollegiate Athletics forward in new and innovative ways—ways that will enhance the extracurricular experience for student-athletes, satisfy the expectations of a cutting-edge coaching staff and provide attractive entertainment options for alumni and fans in the community.

"For me, creating the endowment was about giving back to something I truly believe in, knowing that I am making a difference, and helping to make dreams come true. I also want to set an example for my daughter about what is really important in life: the act of giving."

A unique perspective

Ingold truly has a unique perspective on the development of Penn State Altoona. The director of intercollegiate athletics at Penn State Altoona for almost 20 years, Ingold also served as both director of student marketing and enrollment and director of athletics from 1996-99.

Of her many accomplishments as a senior administrator, Ingold is particularly proud of two: the substantial gains in enrollment in the late 1990's and the resurrection of the intercollegiate athletics program. While at the helm of the admissions office, enrollment increased by more than 60 percent during a five-year period, topping off at 3,800. Significantly, the average Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of incoming first-year students rose by 100 points during her tenure, signifying the successful recruitment of outstanding young scholars.

Ingold also orchestrated the re-establishment of intercollegiate athletics at Penn State Altoona in 1994. The then six-sport program, eliminated in the early 1990s, returned with junior college status and, within five years, boasted conference championships in five of the sports. Today, intercollegiate athletics is a 14-team program with growing stature as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III.

With typical humility, Ingold deflects all praise for the successes in admissions and athletics.

"You're only as good as the people around you," she remarked. "I've been fortunate to have strong leadership and support from deans and CEOs, and dedicated and hardworking staffs. I could not have accomplished these things alone. Good, caring individuals who are committed to the College and its students helped to make it possible."

Tick Hedrick-Sheaffer, legendary retired head volleyball coach at Penn State Altoona, has worked closely with Ingold for more than two decades. She easily recites the characteristics that have been keys to Ingold's success.

"Fredina has a knack for interacting with people and bringing out the best in them," said Hedrick-Sheaffer. "She is excellent at what she does and how she runs our program. We're blessed."

More than an administrator ... a player, too

Ingold's impact extends well beyond her administrative responsibilities. Since 1977, she has coached the women's varsity basketball and tennis teams, men's club golf and volleyball teams, men's and women's club swimming teams, and cheerleading squads.

"Being at Penn State Altoona has enriched my life in so many ways. It's hard to believe that I've been blessed with more than 25 years of service and the opportunity to watch so many students blossom into successful adults. I have been fortunate to work here."

A former student-athlete at Penn State Altoona and University Park, Ingold was the first woman to be inducted into the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. She received The Robert J. Scannell Roll of Honor award in 2002 for serving the Penn State Commonwealth Education System (CES) Athletic, Intramural and Recreation Programs with distinction. In 1996, she was presented the Outstanding Services to Students Achievement Award by the Chief Student Affairs Officers of CES.

Ingold is an accomplished racquetball player. In 1988, she captured the North American Women's Masters Championship and the gold medal in mixed doubles at the U.S. National Championships. She has won numerous Pennsylvania state titles in singles, women's doubles, mixed doubles, and men's doubles. In 2002, 2003, and 2004, Ingold teamed with Penn State President Graham Spanier to win the University's Co-ed Championship.

As director of athletics, Ingold has guided Penn State Altoona through the transition from junior college status to NCAA Division III membership. The fruits of her labor are on display in the Adler Athletic Complex where Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship banners hang in tribute to numerous varsity sports teams.

Ingold also has overseen the marked expansion of total sports offered and improvement and construction of athletic facilities, such as Spring Run Stadium, now two years old and home to Penn State Altoona's men's and women's soccer teams.

"Despite some challenges, we've done so well, and it's all due to the commitment of our staff and coaches," Ingold emphasized.

And to a humble College administrator.