Partnership provides support for students with disabilities

Dr. Jennifer Chambers, a 2016 Penn State Alumni Fellow, 1990 MBA graduate of Penn State Harrisburg, and a 1995 graduate of the Penn State College of Medicine, and her husband, Michael, recently expressed their passion for supporting students with disabilities after learning about the college’s relationship with the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation. Based in Princeton, New Jersey, the foundation has generously supported Penn State for over 30 years, providing scholarships for students with disabilities.

The Chambers and the Newcombe Foundation now have partnered to establish the Michael V. Chambers – Charlotte W. Newcombe Trustee Scholarship at Penn State Harrisburg. Students with disabilities face unique challenges during their college career, and this partnership will provide support in perpetuity for students with physical and/or mental disabilities who dream of earning a Penn State degree.

Currently, 167 students (3 percent of the student body) receive accommodations through the Office of Student Disability Resources (SDR) and the number is increasing along with overall enrollment. However, many students do not register with SDR because of perceived stigma that they associate with acknowledging their disability. According to the United States Department of Education*, 11.1 percent of college students have some form of disability. If we apply this ratio to our student population, it is likely that there are 400-500 students that could benefit from SDR support and financial assistance via scholarship funding.

Due to the Chambers’ and Newcombe Foundation’s generosity, scholarship funds will be available both immediately and in perpetuity to support students with disabilities on campus. We extend our most sincere gratitude and appreciation for their generosity. Their support is part of the 50 for 50th Campaign, an initiative of the college seeking to secure philanthropic gifts to impact at least 50 additional students with private support by the end of Penn State Harrisburg’s fiftieth year.

If you are interested in establishing a scholarship or award to support the hardworking and dedicated students at Penn State Harrisburg, please contact the Development Office at, or call 717-948-6316 to speak with Marissa Hoover, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Noah Roufos-Abbey, Director of Major Gifts, or Abby Beswick, Associate Director of Development.

*Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Digest of Education Statistics, 2013 (2015-011), Chapter 3.