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Gifts at Work: Transforming Lives Through New Scholarship Funds

giftsatworkwebThe Point
Winter 2016

“The Development and Alumni Relations team works to fund the mission of Point Park University by building a culture of philanthropy throughout the University community,” says Sharon Navoney, vice president of development and alumni relations. “Our goal is to help our students succeed.”

At Point Park’s annual scholarship brunch last fall, “one of our students expressed her deep gratitude to the gathering of donors and scholarship recipients,” recalls Navoney. She said, ‘Without your generosity, people like me could not even imagine attending college. You give us the opportunity to receive something that is so worthwhile, valuable and everlasting ... and that is an education.’” 

Philanthropic Impact

This successful student is just one of more than 93 percent of Point Park students who receive some form of financial aid, says Navoney. “Without this assistance, a Point Park education would not be possible for many deserving students. This is why philanthropic gifts are so important.

“Scholarships and other forms of aid help spare our students from excessive and debilitating debt, and enable us to keep the University affordable without sacrificing high quality academic programs and instruction,” adds Navoney. “Our Development and Alumni Relations team is excited to share some of the great work happening to help offset these expenses through the University’s generous contributors.”

Scholarships Honor Ron Tassone and Deloitte LLP

For example, two new scholarships recently joined more than 50 established endowed scholarship funds that award more than $200,000 to Point Park students each year.

The Ron Tassone Memorial Scholarship Fund was established last spring in honor of the late professor who mentored generations of Point Park dance students. A gift from his estate, combined with contributions from the Point Park community, has already raised nearly $55,000 toward the endowed scholarship fund, which will provide support to a deserving dance major each year.

Likewise, community partner Deloitte LLP recently established the Deloitte Academic Enhancement Fund, providing scholarship support for Point Park students with more than $77,000 raised through staff contributions and through the company’s generous match. Beginning in 2015, the scholarship fund provides support for two deserving accounting students each year.

“Our students rely on gifts like these to keep tuition rates manageable,” says Navoney. “Because we want meaningful philanthropic opportunities, like supporting scholarships, to be accessible to our community, I am excited to share that we have created two levels of giving to establish scholarships.

New Giving Opportunities

According to Navoney, donors now can establish a new endowed scholarship fund at the $10,000 level, payable over (a maximum) of three years. One-time expendable scholarships can also be established for $2,000, payable within a fiscal year. “Many of our already established funds, such as the newly endowed Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, are also available for gifts of any amount, which personally connects our students and donors.

“In the future, I look forward to announcing more exciting news about how the Development and Alumni Relations team works to support Point Park’s mission — our students,” says Navoney, who encourages alumni and other members of the Point Park community to reach out and share their own stories. 

“Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at 412-392-4205, or snavoney@pointpark.edu, for a personal chat on the phone, or over coffee,” says Navoney. “I want to hear your own story, and to share the successful stories of Point Park students.”


Photo of the 2015 Scholarship event by John Altdorfer
The Point is a magazine for alumni and friends of Point Park University.