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College of Education > News and Publications > News: Oct. - Dec. 2010 > Alumna, Husband Endow Scholarship Supporting Most Needy Students

Alumna, Husband Endow Scholarship Supporting Most Needy Students

Sandy and Glenn Sapa have endowed the Sandy Sapa Trustee Scholarship in Penn State's College of Education.

by David Price (December 2010)

University Park, Pa. -- Sandy Sapa's father and stepmother told her that that they could not pay for her to go to college. She said, "Well, I'm going to college," and in 1963 the Philadelphia native—a good student with limited financial means—headed to what was then Penn State's Ogontz Campus outside of Philadelphia (now Penn State Abington).

Sapas.jpgToday, Sandy and her husband, Glenn, are establishing the Sandy Sapa Trustee Scholarship in the College of Education.

"I was poor, didn't have a lot of money, and paid my way through college; that's why I went to the local campus," Sandy recalls. "I had to work summers and breaks from school to put myself through, and I feel very strongly that there are other people out there who could use some help."

The Sapa Trustee Scholarship will provide financial assistance to undergraduate students in the College of Education at University Park who have a demonstrated need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses. Sandy says, "I've been very blessed, and my husband and I believe very much in giving back."

Sandy, who now lives in Wheaton, Illinois, graduated in 1966 with a degree in secondary education from the College of Education. "I taught one year, and I found out that it was not my forte," she says. Very driven, she ended up being successful in the business world, at IBM in management and sales.

When Sandy was first approached, several years ago, about creating this endowment, she responded that "there was no way we would do a scholarship." Then, this past spring, she began to realize how important it was to her, especially since she and her husband feel strongly about helping others; and an education is so important in life.

As for the students who someday will receive the Sapa Trustee Scholarship, she offers this advice, "Get involved more in some of the other things that the University has to offer that help you to grow as an individual. Take advantage of all of the other activities, not necessarily the social ones, but some of the governing bodies and groups. People can learn a lot about themselves that way."

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program is designed to keep a Penn State education accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their financial means. The program has a unique matching component that magnifies the donors charitable impact. The University matches five percent of the total gift pledge every year and combines these funds with the endowment's annual interest income. This effectively doubles the financial impact of the scholarship. Penn State's Board of Trustees created the Trustee Matching Scholarship Program in 2002.