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$100K gift to help Penn students

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango alumnus William E. Casey of Liberty has made a $100,000 gift to endow the Casey Miller Bridge to Success Fund, which will provide emergency support for students with unforeseen financial difficulties while commemorating late family members who also attended Penn State.

This gift will deepen Casey’s longstanding connection to Penn State Shenango. Casey graduated in 1973 from the College of the Liberal Arts with a bachelor’s degree in social welfare, and he is president emeritus of Warren Glass and Paint in Youngstown. Casey is now in phased retirement.

Casey made the donation in memory of Thomas A. Casey, Donald K. Miller, Gary R. Miller and Janet Miller Casey.

In addition to establishing the Casey Miller Bridge to Success Fund, Casey also has supported Penn State Shenango’s 50th anniversary scholarship, as well as the campus’s Future Fund.

“I am incredibly proud to assist the region’s students and honor my late wife and family in this way,” Casey said. “Penn State Shenango has created extraordinary opportunities for me, both personally and professionally, and I am thrilled to help provide those same experiences for talented undergraduates experiencing financial hardship, who may not otherwise be able to complete their degrees.”

As undergraduates at the Shenango campus continue to navigate challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Casey Miller Bridge to Success Fund will provide vital assistance for students experiencing emergencies like loss of employment or a loved one. For many students, unexpected hardships often require exhausting funds they have reserved for tuition, textbooks, and even transportation to and from campus. By establishing the Casey Miller Bridge to Success Fund, Casey’s gift will empower the recipients to focus on their academic goals, instead of educational debt, by covering travel costs, providing a semester of scholarship support, and addressing other urgent needs.

The Casey Miller Bridge to Success Fund will be awarded at the chancellor’s discretion in consultation with student aid officers to minimize the time between applications and awarding and create a direct line of support for students with immediate needs. Due to the fund’s flexible structure, donors and alumni can join Casey in his support for Penn State Shenango students at any time through their own gifts to the fund, regardless of the amount they wish to contribute.

“Through his outstanding generosity, Bill has helped us build a critical safety net for students facing difficult personal setbacks,” said Jo Anne Carrick, campus director for Penn State Shenango. “Our campus community has displayed a profound resilience in overcoming many of the challenges we’ve faced in recent months, and we are grateful to have resources at our disposal that will help students continue on their way to graduation.”

In 2017, Casey was chosen as one of the Tribune Chronicle’s Community Stars, which honors people in the community for their volunteerism. He helped create the Adopt-a-Home program in Warren and donated $25,000 to help launch it. He leveraged his seed money to other philanthropic groups and turned it into more than $70,000 for the program that revitalizes Warren’s central neighborhood.

Casey was nominated for the award by Matt Martin, director of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, which works with Casey on the project. He also is a member of the philanthropic group Trumbull 100. Some of the projects Casey was involved in were renovating the youth baseball complex at Burbank Park and beautifying the Interstate 80-Belmont Avenue interchange in Liberty, according to his Community Stars biography.

Through the Casey Miller Bridge to Success Fund, Casey also honors his late wife, Janet Miller Casey, whom he met at Penn State Shenango and who graduated with a degree in social welfare in 1973, and other late family members who have attended Penn State: Tom Casey, Casey’s uncle; Don Miller, Casey’s father-in-law; and Gary Miller, Casey’s brother-in-law, who died in a vehicular accident in 1966 during his time as an undergraduate at Penn State.

news@tribtoday.com

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