Adrienne and Bob Darrah challenge Class of 2018 to support textbook fund class gift

by Sarah Bacon

Penn State employees Adrienne Darrah ’98 ’12 MBA, alumni relations and stewardship officer for the College of Information Sciences and Technology, and Bob Darrah, director of Development and Alumni Relations for the University Libraries, have established a matching challenge to the Class of 2018 — their classmates — and others to support the University Libraries Textbook and Educational Resources Endowment 2018 Class Gift option, to incentivize giving before its online giving deadline of May 11.

The Darrahs are current Penn State students themselves. This year, Adrienne is finishing a master’s degree in public administration, which will be her third Penn State degree, and Bob is finishing a post-baccalaureate certificate in ancient languages. They feel strongly connected to this graduating class and believe in the importance of the Textbook and Educational Resources Endowment.

“When we were undergraduate students, we both had barely enough financial support to cover the cost of our tuitions, let alone the ability to afford our textbooks,” they explained. “We both strongly feel that no one should be limited in their educational pursuits by the cost of their textbooks. We support this fund because it gives students a better opportunity to fully participate in their academic careers while at Penn State.”

The Darrahs will match every dollar of the first $5,000 donated to the 2018 Senior Class Gift benefiting the Textbook and Educational Resources Endowment.

The endowment was established to supplement annual funds that the University Libraries has been spending for decades to purchase textbooks and other required course materials. These materials are placed on reserve at University Park subject and branch libraries and at Libraries locations at most Penn State Commonwealth Campuses for students to borrow on a short-term basis. This practice helps ensure all students have equal access to their required course materials, particularly those facing financial hardship.

“With the cost of textbooks and course materials continuing to rise, we are very excited to be able to support student access to those materials as well as provide scalable solutions to reducing course costs into the future,” Joe Salem, associate dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campus Libraries, said.

The best part about the Class Gift Campaign, according to the Darrahs, is that anyone can donate to it, not just graduating students.

To give to the Textbook and Educational Resources Endowment by the May 11 deadline or to learn more, visit For questions or information about creating a fundraising event to support the University Libraries, contact Sarah Bacon, administrative support coordinator, at or 814-863-7718.