Although Reed Riker '32 Eng lived to the age of 101, his legacy at Penn State will live on much longer.
Throughout his lifetime, the chemical engineering graduate, who passed away on August 11, 2012, established eleven gift annuities with the University, which will create scholarships across Penn State's campuses and colleges.
"Reed was a truly remarkable person," says Maria Russoniello, the director of development at Penn State Worthington Scranton who worked with Reed to establish an endowment at the campus. "He had a sincere interest in Penn State students, and he was always very focused on how he could help make their lives better."
Having spent his career in the financial industry, Reed appreciated the benefits of gift annuities in providing an up-front tax deduction and a stable source of income.
The annuities also allowed Reed and his late wife, Mabel '31 Edu, to pursue their philanthropic passions, establishing eight scholarship endowments at Penn State to benefit areas of the University that were significant to them: the College of Education, where Mabel earned her degree; Penn State Lehigh Valley and Penn State Worthington Scranton, regions where the couple lived and worked; the Penn State basketball team, a sport Reed enjoyed to watch and coach; and University-wide scholarships to support students with financial need.
"Reed had a passion for high-quality education and for helping talented and deserving students earn their degrees," says Dean David Monk of the College of Education, where the Rikers established an undergraduate and a graduate scholarship.
"And his gifts will help us to continue pursuing those values-helping students realize their educational dreams and ensuring we continue to recruit highachieving and ambitious scholars."
In addition to providing student assistance, Maria notes that the Rikers' gift annuities and the scholarships they create will ensure Reed and Mabel's lasting impact on the University.
"Anyone who met Reed will remember his intellect, integrity, and generosity," Maria says. "It was an honor to know Reed, and now generations of future Penn Staters will be touched by his life as well."