Pennsylvania State University President Dr. Graham Spanier joined with Hillel’s Board of Directors on June 11 to bring together key stakeholders in State College, PA for a summit examining the current challenges and opportunities for Jewish life at Penn State. The gathering was a watershed moment for Penn State Hillel and the estimated 6,000 Jewish students at Penn State University.
The participants included senior leadership from the University, the Schusterman International Center, the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh and the Jewish Federations of Greater Philadelphia and Greater Harrisburg, as well as prominent alumni, community and student leaders.
"As a national leader and a member of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, I believe there is a sense of urgency for PSU Hillel to grow now," said Hillel Board of Directors and Board of Governors member Evan Segal. “Jewish students at Penn State deserve high quality Jewish life and a great Hillel – nothing less would be acceptable.”
The Summit focused on three imperative needs for Penn State Hillel: a state-of-the-art facility, significantly improved financial resource development efforts, and a wider regional draw of influential lay leadership. Highlights included President Spanier's pledge of full University partnership in helping Penn State Hillel transform Jewish life on campus and a multi-million dollar commitment from a prominent alumnus for a stand-alone Hillel facility in State College.