Penn State Will Probably Lose Millions In Alumni Donations

Joe Paterno

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Whether it is disgust with the scandal, or anger at how Penn State University handled the situation, or just resentment for the firing of Joe Paterno, the athletic department is likely to take a big hit when it comes to alumni donations.During the 2009-10 fiscal year, the Penn State athletic department accepted $21.0 million in donations from alumni. That amount was the fourth-largest in the Big 10 Conference. Ohio State led the way with $27.3 million in donations.

Those donations represent 41.6 per cent of the $50.4 million profit produced by the Penn State football program that year.

And the biggest recruiter of alumni donations was Paterno. According to Jan Murphy of, Paterno “had a talent for separating people from their money,” and notes that he spearheaded numerous initiatives that helped raise more than $1 billion for the university.

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