Former chancellor Anita McDonald establishes Open Doors Scholarship

Former Penn State DuBois chancellor Anita McDonald has established The Anita D. McDonald Open Doors Scholarship at Penn State DuBois. Taking advantage of the unprecedented 2:1 matching opportunity that was available before June 30, 2018, McDonald pledged $30,000 earlier this year to create the scholarship. It will be matched with $60,000 from Penn State, creating a $90,000 endowment.

Penn State DuBois Chancellor Emerita Anita McDonald.

Penn State DuBois Chancellor Emerita Anita McDonald.

Credit: Penn State

Studies have found that only 50 percent of students from low-income households graduate in six years. The recently concluded Open Doors Scholarship Program was aimed at addressing such issues by funding scholarships for students enrolled in programs that will address the financial, academic, and personal challenges students face in graduating from Penn State. The Open Doors Scholarship Program—between donor contributions and University matching funds—has generated more than $3 million for student scholarship endowments at Penn State DuBois.

McDonald served as chancellor at Penn State DuBois from 2003 until her retirement in December 2012. Under her leadership, the campus increased degree offerings, including a baccalaureate in engineering. During her time at the campus, over $10 million was raised to support student scholarships and facility enhancements, and intercollegiate athletic programs were reestablished. McDonald and her husband Bob were major supporters of the campus. For example, shortly after her arrival in DuBois, they provided a $25,000 gift to support the construction of the DEF Building on the campus. In 2010, they established a Trustee Endowed scholarship in memory of her parents to support students with diverse backgrounds. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.

Before coming to Penn State DuBois McDonald served as dean of the Extended University, Summer Session, and Evening and Weekend Campus at the University of Arizona, in Tucson.  She earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in secondary mathematics from Wayne State University in Detroit, and a doctorate in education from St. Louis University. She took graduate courses in accounting at the University of Detroit and attended Harvard's Management and Leadership Institute. She was an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, served on the ACE Commission on Lifelong Learning, and served as chair of the Council of Fellows.

The Anita D. McDonald Open Doors Scholarship will help to advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a twenty-first-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit      

For more information on the Open Doors Scholarship Program, and all giving at Penn State DuBois, contact Director of Development Jean Wolf, at 814-372-3038 or [email protected] Or visit