Clark University is now better enabled to support students interested in science- and technology-related fields thanks to the Penn Family Scholarship Fund, established through a generous gift from Clark trustee Erica Penn ’84 and her husband, Kevin.
Recognizing the value of encouraging and assisting women who are pursuing science-centered careers, the Penns have ensured their $750,000 gift will “provide support for education in the sciences with a preference for supporting female undergraduate and/or graduate students.”
Erica Penn holds a personal connection to the sciences at Clark. She earned her degree in biology. “The sciences at Clark were extraordinary when I was a student,” Penn remembered.
The Fund may be used to provide undergraduate scholarships — including the costs of tuition, room, board, and/or fees — and also to support undergraduate summer research fellowships. Graduate students can also apply for fellowships, which would include tuition offsets and stipends for research or teaching assistantships.
“We’ve always believed that education is the greatest equalizer,” Penn said. “It’s important that we encourage more women to enter the sciences, and we’re convinced that providing scholarships is the best way to do that.”
Penn is particularly excited by the innovative academic offerings in the Center for Media Arts, Computing, and Design, which is under construction and slated to open in Fall 2023. She notes that students studying computer science — which will be housed in the Center — would be eligible to apply for aid through the Penn Family Scholarship Fund.
“We are incredibly appreciative of this generous and inspirational gift from Erica and Kevin, which enhances the opportunities for Clark students to have full access to our rich array of programs in the sciences,” said President David B. Fithian. “As women continue to achieve major advances in the areas of science and technology, the establishment of the Penn Family Scholarship Fund could not be more essential or timelier.”