Charles E. Hunnell makes gift for Penn State Fayette Open Doors Scholarship

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Greene-County native and retired schoolteacher Charles E. Hunnell has made a gift of $50,000 to Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus in coordination with the Open Doors Scholarship Matching Program. Penn State will make a 2:1 matching contribution to gifts of at least $30,000 through June 30.

The Charles E. Hunnell Open Doors Scholarship, valued at $150,000 with the University match, will give preference to undergraduate students at Penn State Fayette who participate in the Pathway to Success Summer Start (PaSSS) program.

Launched in 2015, PaSSS helps incoming students to transition to college in the summer before their first year. Participants learn skills, establish connections and earn credits prior to the fall semester and get a jump start on their academic careers. Each student receives a $400 stipend, a $250 tuition scholarship per credit and on-campus employment.

Hunnell has established five Penn State scholarship endowments for the College of Education since the 1980s in response to increases in the cost of post-secondary education. He learned of the Open Doors Scholarship Program and was enthusiastic about the opportunity to help increase retention.

“My philosophy has been that every person who is capable and has the desire should have the opportunity to go to college,” he said. “We can’t afford to price young people out of the market. We never know what they may have the ability to do with the proper education.”

“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Hunnell for his generous support of Penn State Fayette’s neediest students,” said Charles Patrick, chancellor and chief academic officer. “His driving philosophy is truly admirable and an inspiration to others.”

Currently, the University match for Open Doors Scholarships triples the impact of endowed scholarships when donors make a commitment of at least $30,000, payable over five years. After June 30, Penn State will provide a 1:1 match to gifts of at least $50,000 to create Open Doors Scholarships.

To contribute a gift to the Open Doors Scholarship Program, contact Lori Omatick, director of development and alumni relations, at 724-430-4190 or [email protected]. To learn more about the “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence” campaign, visit

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. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit