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Mardelle and Patrick Kopnicky named co-chairs of 'For the Future' campaign

1/25/2011 —


Husband and Wife Alumni Team

A husband-and-wife alumni team has accepted appointments as co-chairs of Penn State New Kensington's efforts in the University's current fundraising initiative, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. Beginning Jan. 1, Patrick and Mardelle Kopnicky, residents of Natrona Heights, Pa., are leading the campus committee charged with securing $3 million in new support for the campus by June 2014.

“Supporting Penn State New Kensington has been deeply rewarding for us, and we hope to encourage other friends of the campus to join us in making sure that it can continue to offer a wonderful educational experience to students from every economic background,” said Mardelle Kopnicky, who earned a bachelor of science degree from Penn State in 1964.

“This campaign is an incredible opportunity for Penn Staters to make a difference for future generations, and we are eager to connect with those who share our belief in the future of the New Kensington campus," said Patrick Kopnicky, a 1966 Penn State architecture alumnus.

For the Future is directed toward a vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America, and its top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014. The priorities of the Penn State New Kensington effort are scholarships, enriching the student campus experience, sustaining a tradition of quality through student and faculty work/study programs and partnerships with American and global businesses.

“The success of the campaign as a whole will depend upon the success of every college and campus in reaching their individual objectives,” said Lee Beard, vice co-chair of the For the Future campaign. “I am delighted that Patrick and Mardelle Kopnicky, who are among the most dedicated and enthusiastic supporters of Penn State New Kensington, have volunteered to lead this important effort for the campus.”

The Kopnickys, who met as students at University Park, have been married for 44 years, and they are lifetime members of the Penn State Alumni Association. Their daughter, Aimee Kopnicky Marmol, earned her Penn State degree in premedicine in 1992. The couple is now retired. Patrick was principal architect for Kvaerner Metals in Pittsburgh, and Mardelle was owner of Kopnicky Nationwide Insurance in Brackenridge. Though neither attended Penn State New Kensington, they became involved with the Alle-Kiski Society, a regional chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association based at the campus, in the 1980s. Both served terms as president of the society.

"Through the Alle-Kiski Society, we found that Penn State New Kensington and its students, alumni, parents and staff are a very special family of individuals, and they remain as such to this day, " said Mardelle. The Kopnickys have offered their financial support as well as their time and energy to the campus, providing annual gifts to scholarships for many years and creating the Patrick and Mardelle Sacco Trustee Scholarship in 2008.

“We are proud to be able to offer scholarships to Penn State New Kensington students,” said Mardelle. “We see scholarship support as a way of honoring our parents who enabled us to attend Penn State. And in the Penn State tradition, by giving a gift that will keep on giving, we are investing in the future of our community.”

The Kopnickys have served as leaders for a number of organizations in the region. Mardelle is the past president of the Allegheny Valley Chamber of Commerce and Allegheny Valley YMCA, and Patrick is the past president of the Council of Friends of Harrison Hills Park. In 1994, they were recognized for their community service by the Penn State Alumni Council.
The Kopnickys succeed Barbara Arnold and Robin Rarie as co-chairs of the campus campaign. Arnold and Rarie, both Penn State graduates and members of the campus advisory board, headed the two-year private phase of the campaign, which began in 2007.

“We are deeply honored and grateful that such extraordinary community leaders have offered their time and talent to our fundraising campaign,” said Kevin Snider, chancellor of Penn State New Kensington.
“Patrick and Mardelle are the ideal team to build upon the remarkable foundation that Barbara and Robin have built. We are confident that with the Kopnickys’ guidance, we will achieve our goals and secure a brighter future for our campus, our students, and our region.”

The Kopnickys will host a private gathering for Penn State alumni and friends who are interested in learning more about For the Future campaign opportunities. To R.S.V.P., call 724-224-4102.

For information about Penn State New Kensington’s campaign goals or to discuss the many giving options available, contact Donna Speer director of development, at 724-334-6057 or dms46@psu.edu.

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