MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Regis Becker, chief ethics and compliance officer for Penn State, and his wife, Barbara Becker, have made a $30,000 commitment to establish an Open Doors Scholarship at Penn State Greater Allegheny.
“When Barbara and I talked about what was important to us, she was the one who suggested the McKeesport campus,” stated Regis Becker. “She said, ‘I really think we should try to do something for that campus because they were so important in your career and your formation.’”
A former Penn State Greater Allegheny 2+2 student, Regis Becker attributes his success to the time he spent at Greater Allegheny and the opportunities the campus granted him.
“I hadn’t made a lot of good decisions in high school regarding my grades, and this campus took a chance on me and gave me access to a world-class education,” expressed Becker. “I have always been grateful for that, and I’ve had a good career.”
Through the Open Doors Scholarship Program, the University will match the $30,000 commitment 2:1, enabling the Beckers to endow the scholarship at $90,000. First preference for the scholarship will be given to students in the RaiseMe program, which enables students, enrolled at specific Pennsylvania high schools, to earn micro-scholarships they can use towards their Penn State education.
“We knew that our gesture would have an impact,” explained Regis Becker. “We’re delighted and hope to stay involved and continue to be supportive of this campus.”
“People are working hard, people are making their own history and people are making their own breaks,” said Becker. “To be able to contribute to their efforts to become a better person and more successful to help their families — I just think it’s a natural inclination that people have and we certainly had it.”
“Regis Becker has a truly special connection to Penn State Greater Allegheny, and the Open Doors Scholarship from Regis and Barbara means a great deal to our entire campus community,” stated Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Greater Allegheny. “This gift will provide opportunities for our students that will truly transform their lives, and we are most sincerely grateful to the Beckers for their generosity and their commitment to the campus.”
The impact of such a scholarship will help many students at the Greater Allegheny campus as they progress through their college career. A large portion of the student body at the campus are first-generation college students and Pell eligible.
“I think it’s human nature to get to a certain point in your life where you can appreciate the good things that you have and want to contribute to someone else’s development,” stated Regis Becker. “This [Penn State] is a place where you can really do that and have a significant impact for your contribution.”
Gifts from Penn State's alumni and friends 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, the University has begun "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university: Private support will keep the doors to higher education open to hard-working students regardless of financial well-being; create transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impact the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.