DuBOIS, Pa. — A planned gift will be used to establish an endowed undergraduate scholarship to benefit students in need at Penn State DuBois.
Ted M. McKinney has committed $500,000 from his estate to create the Frank A. Palmerino Memorial Scholarship at Penn State DuBois and honor his late companion. Scholarships will be awarded on an annual basis to students who demonstrate financial need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses. For those identified as eligible recipients for this scholarship, first preference will be given to students whose home address resides in Jefferson County.
This scholarship is being created in memory of Palmerino, a 1961 Penn State alumnus who started his journey at Penn State DuBois before transitioning to the University Park campus. A native of Punxsutawney in a family of 12 children, Palmerino was a firm believer in the value of initiating postsecondary education in a local community, something Penn State DuBois offered to him by providing convenient access to courses he needed before heading to University Park to complete his electrical engineering degree. He also was a strong believer in achieving a better life through education. Both McKinney and Palmerino came from families with limited resources, and they shared an understanding of the financial burden a college education can place on a family.
The DuBois campus was very important to Frank because it provided a portal to the wider world beyond Jefferson County.
—Ted M. McKinney
“The DuBois campus was very important to Frank because it provided a portal to the wider world beyond Jefferson County,” McKinney said. “After Frank graduated from high school, he spent a year as a produce clerk in a local supermarket. He said that the Hawaiian music, promoting pineapple sales, nearly drove him crazy. So, he saved money for a year and then enrolled at Penn State DuBois. He was always grateful for being able to complete his basic coursework while living at home.”
McKinney and Palmerino met in California and became partners for 43 years until Palmerino’s passing in 2014. Palmerino worked for many years as an aerospace engineer for TRW, while McKinney worked as a research scientist for Rockwell. He also taught at a local community college. It was during his time teaching there that McKinney earned a deeper respect and developed a further commitment for local students who were financially disadvantaged, but still determined to receive their degree. Moved by this, and by Palmerino’s gratefulness and love for his start at Penn State DuBois, McKinney was motivated to plan this gift to the campus to memorialize his longtime companion.
I personally am grateful for the presence of Penn State DuBois because without that doorway, Frank’s and my paths would never have crossed.
—Ted M. McKinney
“I personally am grateful for the presence of Penn State DuBois because without that doorway, Frank’s and my paths would never have crossed,” McKinney said. “I know that Frank would gladly endorse this gift to the scholarship program because it will encourage future generations to become better educated and empower them to pursue their own dreams in the wider world.”
For financial aid recipients, the gap between families’ financial need and available aid, including loans, averages more than $7,300 per year. Donors to Penn State DuBois scholarship funds help to close that gap by making available more than $650,000 in scholarships awarded to students each year.
“With the creation of this scholarship, Mr. Palmerino’s legacy will live on at Penn State DuBois,” said Jungwoo Ryoo, Penn State DuBois chancellor and chief academic officer. “His love for our campus and belief in education helping individuals make the most of their life is greatly admirable. We are blessed to have such dedicated individuals, like Dr. McKinney, making higher education affordable for everyone.”
With the record-breaking success of “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” which raised $2.2 billion from 2016 to 2022, philanthropy is helping to sustain the University’s tradition of education, research and service to communities across the commonwealth and around the globe. Scholarships enable our institution to open doors and welcome students from every background; support for transformative experiences allows our students and faculty to fulfill their vast potential for leadership; and gifts toward discovery and excellence help us to serve and impact the world we share. To learn more about the impact of giving and the continuing need for support, visit raise.psu.edu.
For information on all giving at Penn State DuBois, contact director of campus development Jean Wolf at 814-372-3038 or [email protected].