CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — As co-chairs of the Penn State Lehigh Valley Development Committee, Howard Kulp ’73 and Shane McGee ’97 will spearhead the campus’s efforts in the University’s new fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.”
“I wasn’t the most scholarly student in high school and Penn State gave me the chance to get an education,” said Kulp. “My parents were always very active in their community, and I am continuing their legacy of service through my involvement with Penn State Lehigh Valley.”
A graduate of Penn State’s five-year architecture program, Kulp established his own firm in 1978. Howard Kulp Architects, P.C., is an award-winning firm located in the Lehigh Valley. The firm has planned and designed a variety of architecture projects, including commercial/retail buildings, healthcare facilities, education centers, government facilities and custom residences.
The outgoing campus advisory board chair joined the Board in 2007. Since then, Kulp has been an integral part of the growth of Penn State Lehigh Valley. He has regularly donated his time, talent and resources. Most notably, Kulp donated his design work, along with his staff’s time, for the plans for the current campus location in Center Valley, and he was instrumental in the campus’ move from its Fogelsville location in 2009. Kulp also made the largest gift commitment in the campus’ history — it is Kulp’s vision that this gift will provide funding to Penn State Lehigh Valley for a student union building, student scholarships or other building projects. In addition to supporting Penn State Lehigh Valley, Kulp also gives to the College of Arts and Architecture at University Park.
“Howard is setting the standard and leading the way for philanthropy to our campus,” said Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley. “We are fortunate for his leadership as we build momentum for the University’s fundraising campaign, ‘A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.’ We are focused on raising funds for scholarships to provide access to students, for transformative education experiences such as Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, and for signature programs that impact the world such as CHANCE.”
McGee, a 1997 Penn State Smeal of College of Business alumnus, joined the campus’ advisory board in 2016 and recently established a newly endowed scholarship with his wife, Katelyn Powers, in support of Penn State Lehigh Valley students with demonstrated need.
“We wanted to create this in order to give local students who need some assistance the opportunity to come to Penn State”, said McGee, who attended Penn State Lehigh Valley for two years before finishing his education at University Park. “Students are exposed to so many new experiences, especially during their first two years of college. For example, I came into college as a math major, but once being exposed to other disciplines and having faculty interactions, I changed my major to business and it helped set me on a successful path forward.”
McGee has worked at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., in Allentown for the past 19 years. He currently is the IT business and program manager for Latin America Gases at Air Products.
“Donors, like Shane, who choose to express their gratitude for their own success by giving to Penn State Lehigh Valley, help ensure that future generations of students can find even more opportunities for growth and achievement at the University,” said Richardson. “I look forward to working with both Howard and Shane to help the Lehigh Valley campus achieve our goal of $3.5 million. We are also very excited to have Phillip St. James newly on board as our director of campus development.”
St. James joined Penn State Lehigh Valley as director of campus development in September 2017. He previously served as senior relationship manager at the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley for five years. St. James earned a Master of Science in Management from Webster University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science for Business from DeVry University.
Gifts from Penn State’s alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the door to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.