$10M gift strengthens Georgetown’s commitment to access and affordability

The Penner Family Foundation, led by Carrie Walton Penner (C’92) and Gregory Boyd Penner (F’92), has made a $10 million gift to enhance Georgetown’s ongoing commitment to educational access and affordability.

The gift supports two funds at the university, including $8 million for The Penner Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to help promising students from low-income households attend Georgetown. The remainder augments the existing Penner Family Endowed Experiences Fund, which allows undergraduates, many of whom are first-generation college students, to travel abroad, work at unpaid internships, engage in meaningful research, and participate in extracurricular service projects in the Washington, D.C., community.

“The Penners’ extraordinary generosity exemplifies our shared responsibility to ensure that Georgetown is a place where the very best students, regardless of background, have the opportunity to join our University community,” shares Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. “Their service further strengthens our commitment to being a ‘community in diversity’—a place where we value a diversity of perspectives, experiences, life histories, gifts, and talents as vital to our community. We are deeply grateful for the Penners’ leadership and ongoing dedication to Georgetown.”

Leadership role

This isn’t the first time the Penner family has made significant gifts to Georgetown. Past gifts established the Walton Scholarship for Georgetown College undergraduates; the Walton Family SFS Graduate Scholarship for MSFS students; an endowed chair in Asian Studies at the School of Foreign Service; and the Penner Family China Impact & Engagement Fund which supports intercultural and interreligious exchange between Georgetown and entities in China.

“Through the years, we have dedicated our philanthropy to projects that help students reach their full potential,” Carrie Walton Penner says. “For some, the odds are stacked against them from a young age. We want to create a supportive atmosphere where they feel empowered to seize opportunities.”

“Georgetown is a leading voice in the national conversation about access and affordability in higher education,” adds Greg Penner. “Carrie and I are thrilled to advance this work, and to bring more students to Georgetown who will live their lives in service to others.”

Keep reading to learn more about the Penner family’s dedication to educational equity, as well as Georgetown’s commitment to creating a thriving, diverse community accessible to the very best students, regardless of socioeconomic status.

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