Please take the time to review the testimonials below about the work and resources provided by the LGBTA Student Resource Center at Penn State. We hope by reading these, you will be able to find a connection to the Penn State LGBTQA community and take action and become involved in the Committee of a Thousand. We look forward to working with you and having your support in our work with the Penn State community!
"Penn State is a stronger, more vital institution because of our LGBTA students, past and present. By joining the Committee of a Thousand, alumni and friends will help us to ensure that all students can find the support and information they need to thrive at the university. Your generosity will make a difference not just for those individuals who benefit directly from LGBTA Student Resource Center, but also for the Penn State community as a whole."
Damon R. Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs
"It is sad to think that parents, upon learning that their child is gay, would cut off their child's college funds, or that an LGBT student at Penn State would not have the money to buy an interview suit. But it happens. I established The Emergency Fund to address these kinds of situations. For the money I invested, I feel like the returns - helping LGBT students in crisis - are huge. It feeds my soul"
Lou Martarano, a 1976 Penn State graduate in chemistry was named an Outstanding Alumnus by the Eberly College of Science and an Alumni Fellow by the University. He is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Marymount Manhattan College.
"The LGBTA Student Resource Center does a magnificent job of helping young people at all of Penn State's Campuses to become contributing members of society, but the Center cannot possibly meet all of the needs of LGBTA students without private support. My partner, Dean, and I created a Trustee Scholarship to help LGBTA students succeed at Penn State and in life. Our hope is that other Penn State alums and friends will join us on the Committee of a Thousand. Whether you choose to support scholarships or workshops, mentoring services or community events, no gift is too small to make a difference in the lives of Penn State's LGBTA students."
Bruce Miller, a 1971 Penn State graduate in political sciences, chairs the College of the Liberal Arts development council and is a vice chair and member of the executive committee of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. Bruce and his partner, Dean LaVigne, are longtime supporters of the University and its students
"I hit a rough patch during my sophomore year, and the LGBTA Student Resource Center was one of the main reasons I stayed at Penn State. It was an amazing place for me to connect with the LGBTA community here. The people at the center have become part of my second family, and many times they have provided me with the support that I wasn't getting anywhere else."
Yvette I. Lerma is a Sociology Major with minors in Latino Studies and Women's Studies. She is a Straight Talks Pro, Intern at the LGBTA Student Resource Center, as well as the president of Rainbow Roundtable, a student organization committed to building a safer and more inclusive Penn State community. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in student affairs.
"The visibility of the LGBTA Student Resource Center is extremely important in creating an environment in which everyone can feel safe and welcome. It has opened my eyes to many cultures, and I've learned to become an ally to other communities. By supporting the Center, you can help to build a legacy of acceptance here at Penn State."
James Evert is majoring in Health Policy and Administration. He is the Community Outreach intern at the LGBTA Student Resource Center as well as the co-president of Penn State Global Medical Brigades, a student organization which brings medical care and supplies to remote villages in Honduras. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in public health.
"The people of the LGBTA Student Resource Center and the support of the Barry H. Marshal Scholarship gave me hope when the aggressive acts and regressive ideals of others made it hard to keep going. When even family support can falter, a student may need a hand. If you can help another person to achieve their dream of an education, why would you not?"
Michael J. Barnett graduated in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in Media Studies. He was a recipient of the Barry H. Marshal Scholarship, and he was involved in Axis, Penn State's LGBTA social organization; Speak-Out, a student political action group; and the Undertones, a group focused on the needs of LGBTA students of color.