Sue Paterno donates $100,000 to help Penn State students during the COVID-19 pandemic

Centre Daily Times (TNS)
Penn State

Penn State grad and longtime benefactor Sue Paterno recently donated $100,000 to the university to help students in need during the global pandemic, the university announced Monday.

Half of her donation will go toward the Student Care & Advocacy Emergency Fund, which typically supplies hard-hit students with up to $1,000 each. And the other half will be added to the endowment of the Lion’s Pantry, a food bank for university students that remains open five days a week.

“All of our lives have been changed and challenged by the far-reaching effects of COVID-19,” Paterno said in a written statement. “No one can foresee how our students will be impacted, but we must do what we can to help them as they pursue their educational goals.”

Penn State moved to online-only classes March 16 in response to the coronavirus and, with the closure of businesses, many students — and their parents — have voiced concerns about paying rent and other expenses. The Emergency Fund is expected to help those who need it most.

“Sue Paterno’s longtime leadership and advocacy on behalf of Penn State students have never been more needed than at this moment, when so many are facing serious personal, academic and financial impacts from COVID-19,” Penn State President Eric J. Barron said in a news release.

Paterno, affectionately known as “SuePa,” graduated in 1962 from Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts and married Joe Paterno shortly thereafter. Although the longtime head football coach died in 2012, Sue has remained a staple of the Penn State community and lives in the same modest home off McKee Street in State College.

According to the university, the 80-year-old is a founding member of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board, a member of the Liberal Arts Development Council, a tutor and a founding donor of the Paterno Fellows Program. She’s also a founding member — and the vice chair — of the University Libraries’ Library Development Board, and that’s in addition to her work with the Special Olympics and other non-university-affiliated charities.

“At University Park and at campuses across the commonwealth, Penn State students have been integral members of our community,” Sue Paterno said. “We look forward to the day we can welcome them back to their respective campuses. Our goal is to inspire others in the Penn State and local community to join in our efforts to assist students in unprecedented times of challenge.”

To date, the Paternos have donated more than $4 million to the university.

Those also interested in donating can visit the respective websites of the Emergency Fund and Lion’s Pantry for more information.