Palumbo Charitable Trust Open Doors Scholarship generates a half million dollars

Trust administrators with Chancellor McBride and Director of Development Jean Wolf.

The Nittany Lion joined, left to right, John and Mary Ray Kowach, grant administrators for the Palumbo Charitable Trust, as well as Director of Development Jean Wolf and Chancellor M. Scott McBride, during a recent visit.

Credit: Penn State

The A.J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust has given $150,000 to establish an Open Doors Scholarship at Penn State DuBois. Having made their initial gift before June 30, 2018, the trust took advantage of the unprecedented 2:1 matching opportunity that was available with the Open Doors Scholarship Program. This means the University matched the Palumbo gift with an additional $300,000, creating a full $450,000 endowment.

Studies have found that only 50 percent of students from low-income households graduate in six years. The Open Doors Scholarship Program is 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. To date, 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.

A.J. Palumbo lived from 1906 until 2002, and amassed a fortune through hard work in the coal mining industry. Today, educational institutions, health care facilities, and youth organizations continue to benefit from his hard work through the A.J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust, named for A.J. and his wife.

The Palumbo Charitable Trust 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 21-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