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Centra Bank Trustee Scholarship to aid Fayette campus students

8/4/2008 —
The Centra Bank Trustee Scholarship has been established at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students enrolled at the campus. The funds for the scholarship came from the result of a successful first year of the bank’s presence in Fayette County, according to Douglas J. Leech Jr., founder and CEO of Centra Bank.

Leech attended Penn State Fayette in the 1970s, graduating from the University Park campus in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in business. Centra Bank has four offices in Fayette County, and as a total corporation in 2007 reached $1 billion in assets overall, gaining the bank national recognition.

C. Christopher Cluss, chairman of Centra Bank in Pennsylvania and president of O.C. Cluss Lumber Co., notes that “education is a very important challenge in Fayette County and we want to help. Penn State Fayette in many respects leads the way. It’s an important part of our community in educating our youth and adults wanting to advance their careers. You can’t speak enough about what education means, and the Fayette campus is a cost-effective and local way to do that.”

The Centra Bank Trustee Scholarship will give first preference to Penn State Fayette students who reside in Fayette County, and will be awarded beginning with the fall 2008 semester.

“The ability to obtain a college scholarship is important to many Fayette County residents,” explains Fayette campus Chancellor Emmanuel I. Osagie. “In times when family budgets may be tight, a scholarship may be just what’s needed to allow an individual to pursue higher education, and our close-to-home location is one reason our students choose our campus to earn their Penn State education. We encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing a college degree to visit us to explore the many options available at Penn State Fayette.”

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program is designed to keep a Penn State education accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their financial means. The program has a unique matching component—the University matches 5 percent of the principal of each gift annually and combines these funds with income from the endowment to effectively double the financial impact of the scholarship. Implemented in 2002 upon approval by Penn State’s Board of Trustees, the program assisted approximately 4,400 students University-wide last year.

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