MCKEESPORT, Pa. — The G.C. Murphy Co. Foundation, a foundation that was created out of the G.C. Murphy Co. store chain, has made a contribution of $50,000 to create the G. C. Murphy Open Doors Scholarship at Penn State Greater Allegheny. The University matched the gift 2:1 through the Open Doors Scholarship Program, and the scholarship was endowed at $150,000.
The Open Doors Scholarship Program provides a University match for private gifts to create Open Doors Scholarships, which support undergraduates in specific programs that help students to complete their degrees on time and minimize their educational debt. From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, the University offered a 2:1 match to gifts of $30,000 or more. In the coming year, donors can secure a 1:1 match for gifts of $50,000 or more.
This gift will 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 21st-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.
Even after their stores closed down, G.C. Murphy Co. wanted to make a difference in the areas they were located.
“They wanted to continue their charitable works. Just because Murphy’s ceased to exist, that didn’t mean they stopped feeling strongly about what they were doing with the foundation,” stated Patty Smith, director/secretary of the G.C. Murphy Co. Foundation. “That is why they insisted they keep the foundation separate from the sale of the Murphy stores. They wanted to continue doing that work here in McKeesport.”
G.C. Murphy Co. Foundation has been helping smaller organizations around the McKeesport and Mon Valley areas. McKeesport once was the home for the first G.C. Murphy store.
“We support many smaller organizations that bigger foundations don’t usually support. We support Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, the Intersection, Sonshine Community Ministries, LaRosa Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of McKeesport, Carnegie Library of McKeesport, and the Auberle Foundation,” said Smith. “I think we do good work because a lot of the times these smaller organizations do not have the avenue to receive money from the larger foundations.”
Smith was excited to be a part of this grant, expressing how much it meant to her and how the Foundation gives back to its community.
“A lot of the students that attend the McKeesport campus are from this area, and they might not be able to afford to go to the University Park campus,” said Smith. “This is more affordable for them, and we want to invest in the community to help kids and adults who want to further their education, make more of themselves, better this community, and come here to receive a quality education.”
Working with Jacqueline Edmondson, the chancellor at Penn State Greater Allegheny, the G.C. Murphy Co. Foundation found that their values go hand in hand with the campus’ values.
“The new chancellor is committed to letting the local community know you’re here, and she is invested in the community,” said Smith. “PSUGA wants people to know that not only are they here for your education but also for assistance via food banks and free stores, which also aligns with our focus.”
G.C. Murphy Co. Foundation not only helps the community, but also wants to make sure that their legacy is not forgotten.
“There are not too many young people that are even aware of G.C. Murphy Co. or what that even was,” said Smith. “We like that we are able to help students of the former Murphy descendants and others who live in the local communities to further their education.
"With a continued relationship between Penn State Greater Allegheny and the G.C. Murphy Co. Foundation, we can help students by providing scholarship opportunities to further their educations."
To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.