UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society Opportunity Scholarship, the society’s first scholarship endowment, will ease the financial burden for students who face significant financial hurdles as they work toward their degrees.

Founded in 1942 with the purpose of strengthening all hospitality professions, the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS) continues to be an influential presence on campus today. PSHRS is an Affiliate Program Group of the Penn State Alumni Association and the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society.

PSHRS’s gifts to the School of Hospitality Management total more than half a million dollars and have created four endowments: the PSHRS-Mike Leven Award, the PSHRS Endowment for Pre-Professional Leadership and Hospitality Industry Experiences, the PSHRS Endowment Fund, and this new scholarship.

PSHRS contributed $125,000 to create and permanently endow the scholarship as part of the University's First Time Endowed Scholarship Donor Matching Program, a featured giving opportunity of the University-wide fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.”

When donors create their first endowed scholarship, the University will provide a permanent 1:1 match, doubling the endowment principal and the funds available to undergraduate students in perpetuity. To qualify, scholarships must support undergraduate students who demonstrate need. This opportunity is available through June 30, 2021, or until all matching funds have been expended.

“Our alumni, along with their generous employers, and the school's industry partners, made this scholarship gift possible to enable more talented Penn State students to join our field. It is particularly gratifying to maximize our gift and its impact to students with the University’s 1:1 match,” said Jason Bayona, president of PSHRS.

PSHRS, the oldest alumni program group established at Penn State, has a long history of supporting the School of Hospitality Management, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2017-18. PSHRS’s leadership was instrumental in the effort to secure many individual and corporate contributions that helped enable the building of the Mateer Building, home of the School of Hospitality Management at University Park, and its “living lab,” Café Laura.

“PSHRS is once again demonstrating how committed they are to the success of School of Hospitality Management students,” said Donna Quadri-Felitti, Marvin Ashner Director of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. “This endowment will enable more students to follow their passion and be well-prepared to succeed in the hospitality industry with an outstanding Penn State education.”

Gifts like the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society Opportunity Scholarship have been essential to the success of the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence" is focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the doors to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship.

To learn more, visit or contact Kathleen Rider, director of development, College of Health and Human Development, at 814-863-1064 or [email protected], or Kevin Musick, director of gifts, School of Hospitality Management, at 814-863-2222 or [email protected].