"We are both first-generation college graduates," Dan Mazur says. "Penn State has made a difference in our lives, and we want to make a similar significant impact in students' lives. Our experiences with Penn State Outreach programs made us aware of the needs of adult learners and helped us focus our gift plans."
"For individuals who don't go to college and then find they can't support their families on what they are earning, higher education can be the answer," Agnes Mazur adds. "We want our gift to help these adults earn a Penn State degree."
The Penn State alumni from Palmyra, Pa., have turned their passion for helping adults attain a Penn State degree into a major estate gift to Penn State Outreach to establish the Dan and Agnes Mazur Family Adult Learner Scholarship in the World Campus, Penn State's online campus.
Penn State defines adult learners as individuals age twenty-four or older; veterans of the armed services; active-duty service members; those returning to school after four or more years of employment, homemaking or other activity; or those with multiple adult roles, such as a parent, spouse/partner, employee and student.
Like many traditional-age students, adults often need financial assistance to complete a degree.
"We are extremely grateful to Dan and Agnes Mazur for their very generous commitment to Penn State adult learners," says Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach. "It will provide invaluable support to adult learners balancing multiple responsibilities as they pursue their education."
Adults who are enrolled in World Campus online undergraduate education programs and who live in one of twenty Pennsylvania counties will be eligible for the annual Mazur scholarship.
Dan earned a B.S. in business logistics in 1970 and an MBA in 1971 from Smeal College of Business. Agnes earned a B.A. in French at Penn State in 1974 and a master's degree in elementary education at West Chester University. Their daughter Kathleen is a Penn State graduate; son Patrick is in Smeal College's MBA program; and son Timothy is a World Campus student.
Originally from Cresson, Dan spent 38 years in the railroad industry. He was vice president of strategic planning with Norfolk Southern at the time of his retirement in 2008. Dan has been a very active member of the Penn State Outreach advisory board for more than five years. Agnes, originally from Baltimore, taught elementary education in Chester County.
The Mazurs' estate gift will expand financial aid opportunities for adult learners enrolled in the World Campus. Penn State Outreach currently offers the Fund for Adult Continuing Education Support, Fischer Family Scholarship Program, Osher Foundation Re-entry Scholarship, Jane Ireland Student Fund, Trustee Scholarship Program, and Alpha Sigma Lambda Scholarship, as well as tuition assistance for military/veteran students.