Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board

Empowering Women to Make a Difference

At Penn State, we understand and recognize the importance of engaging women in philanthropy, and we’re all made better by diversity and inclusivity. The Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board (WPAB) was born out of the rising need for change in the way we involve and engage those who identify as female within the conversation of philanthropy.

Our Mission

The Women’s Philanthropic Advisory Board (WPAB) is driven to address the changing landscape of philanthropy at Penn State—and within the broader global context—as it applies to inclusivity, representation, and the engagement of female-identifying donors.

Across the world, women’s share of wealth is on an unprecedented rise; women now hold more than 40 percent of total global wealth. Moreover, their desire to give back and support their communities is often greater than that of males in a similar socioeconomic position, and they create an impact in their own unique, diverse ways.

Put simply, women have a greater capacity, opportunity, and drive to give now than ever before in history, and we want to be a part of that force for change. Female-identifying donors, alumnae, students, and friends of the University aren’t always well-served by the same philanthropic methods and mentality that have worked in the past—but Penn State has always been at the forefront of innovation, creativity, and inclusivity, and through this initiative we intend to maintain that leadership role when it comes to engaging female-identifying individuals in the philanthropic life of the institution.

The Board’s goal is to grow engagement and participation; advance alumnae into volunteer leadership roles; develop a culture that supports equity and diversity; and to empower female-identifying leaders in their service to Penn State, however they choose to be involved.


The WPAB is comprised of a diverse group of volunteers, donors, staff, alumni, and students committed to elevating women philanthropically at the University.

Get to know our Board Members >

In every corner of the world, every subject, industry, and profession, women are making a lasting impact that’s worth sharing and celebrating.

Read the inspiring stories >

Exciting events about, for, and inspiring women are happening right here on our campus, across the Commonwealth, and throughout the country.

Find events that interest you >

Since 1871, when Penn State became the first public institution in the Commonwealth to admit female undergraduates, women have played a vital role in the University’s history. Through the Women’s Philanthropy Advisory Board (WPAB), you can help to shape our future, too. Private support is essential to the fulfillment of our land-grant mission, and your investment as a donor and volunteer will help to ensure that our education, research, and outreach reflect the values of all Penn Staters. As our current fundraising campaign imagines A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, we invite you to share your perspective and your passion through the WPAB.

Eric J. Barron

President, Penn State

Who is a Philanthropist?

This video from Indiana University is part of a campaign created in partnership with the YWCA and Facebook to highlight how women are giving back and making an impact in their communities. It was launched in connection with the Women’s Philanthropy Institute’s report, Women Give 2019: Gender and Giving Across Communities of Color. We hope you’ll feel inspired by these stories and consider how you might be—or become—an everyday philanthropist.

Explore giving options at Penn State that speak to your passions >