Rosses honored for establishing scholarship

Submitted photo
The 2019 Penn State Mont Alto Renaissance Scholarship honorees Mike and Donna Ross, far left and far right, with current Mont Alto Renaissance scholars Allison Meyers and Santiago Morillo, both of the Class of 2020.

MONT ALTO, Pa. — About 100 family members, friends and business leaders recently honored Mike and Donna Ross and joined in establishing of a Renaissance Fund Scholarship.

Together, they raised $60,190 that will support academically talented Penn State students with financial need in perpetuity.

“From early childhood development right on through college and post graduate education, Mike and Donna Ross are passionate supporters of a strong education and the many opportunities that education provides,” Steve Hawbaker, president of the Penn State Mont Alto Advisory Board, said in introducing the Rosses.

“My mom and Mike’s parents were all teachers,” said Donna Ross, a retired early childhood educator. “Our parents instilled in us a love of learning and worked hard to offer us opportunities they didn’t have. We understand there can be obstacles in pursuing higher education. Financial support is a big one.”

Mike Ross serves as a member of the Penn State Mont Alto Advisory Board and is president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp. (FCADC). For the past 32 years, he has been involved in more than 760 development projects in Franklin County, where he and Donna raised daughters, Kira, Tracy, and Alyssa.

“At a time when the cost of higher education continues to grow, Penn State’s Renaissance Scholarship program is responding with financial support to help students achieve their dream of earning a Penn State degree,” said Penn State Mont Alto Chancellor Francis K. Achampong.

Since the first Renaissance dinner in 1977, Penn State campuses continue to gather annually and pay tribute to those who have significantly impacted the University and their local communities by endowing a new Renaissance Fund Scholarship in their name.

Across Penn State this year, 662 students are receiving Renaissance Scholarships — Mont Alto has 23 Renaissance Scholars, according to Achampong.

They are selected from a population with the greatest financial need and the highest academic achievement.

Once chosen, they will continue to receive support even if they transition to another Penn State campus as long as they maintain a 3.0 or higher grade-point average.

Based on current endowment levels, Renaissance Scholars are receiving about $6,000 over four years.