In her classes at Penn State Shenango, Economics major Suzetta McKnight is studying financial issues-but the sophomore has already learned some tough lessons on her own. "Paying for my college education has been hard for my family," she says. "I waitress to help pay the bills, but it's difficult to balance work and school. The scholarship I received from Paul and Eleanor Chadderton has meant that I can work less and spend more time studying. My grades have improved, and so has my family's financial stress."
That's the kind of impact that Paul '09h and Eleanor Chadderton hoped to see when they created a charitable lead trust to support Penn State Shenango in 2010. "As a father of two Penn State graduates, a business owner, and an active member of the community, I have seen firsthand the important role the University plays in our area," explains Mr. Chadderton, retired owner and president of Chadderton Trucking, Inc., in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and a member of the Penn State Shenango Advisory Board. "Kids need more education today than when I was young, and it's only getting harder for them to find the money to afford it. Eleanor and I are trying to do whatever we can to help."
The Chaddertons' charitable lead trust, created through a gift of $500,000, is providing a $20,000 annuity to Penn State Shenango for ten years. Although the trust's first distribution was only recently received by the campus, it has already provided $15,000 in scholarship support for students like Suzetta. The remaining $5,000 of this year's gift was used to partially fund an interdisciplinary spring break service trip in March, which sent fourteen students to Urubamba, Peru, to help indigenous families replace their kitchens' traditional open-pit fire with with clean-burning stoves and chimneys. Because the gift provides unrestricted support, it can be used at the discretion of the chancellor for the greatest needs of the campus each year.
The Chadderton's charitable lead trust will continue to create exceptional educational opportunities for students at the Shenango campus for the next ten years. At that time, the trust's remaining assets, including any appreciation, will be transferred to the couple's beneficiaries at a reduced tax cost. "I know I'm not going to live forever," Mr. Chadderton jokes. "I just want to get our estate in order and hopefully benefit future generations."