Major Gift Creates Student Success Center in IST 

Thanks to the generosity of Penn State benefactors Gene and Roz Chaiken, the College of Information Sciences and Technology is gaining a new student success center.  

The Chaikens have made a landmark contribution to the University that makes them the second-largest donors in Penn State history. A previous gift from the couple — one that cemented their legacy as the largest scholarship donors in Penn State history — resulted in the naming of the Susan Welch Liberal Arts Building and the creation of the Roz and Gene Chaiken Center for Student Success in the College of the Liberal Arts.  

Their new gift will establish Chaiken Centers for Student Success in other areas across the University, including the College of IST.  

“We are sincerely grateful to Gene and Roz for their profound generosity to Penn State and now, to the College of IST,” said Dean Andrea Tapia. “The Chaiken Center will enhance and extend the exceptional support our staff provide to our students and create new opportunities for resources, programming and engagement.”  

Modeled after the first Chaiken Center and tailored for the needs of students in the College of IST, the new center will build upon existing academic support services to create and enhance services, programs and spaces that promote academic, personal and professional success through peer mentoring, community building and partnerships—within and beyond the college.  

Amy Stever will serve as an interim director of the Chaiken Center while continuing in her role as IST’s assistant dean for academic services.

“The Chaiken's generosity establishes a lasting legacy that will make an impact on our students who will now have more support that addresses their academic and personal needs,” said Stever. “The creation of the Chaiken Center in the College of IST demonstrates a profound belief in our students’ potential, and I’m excited to collaborate with the IST community to strengthen the many ways we strive to support student success.”  

Jocelyn Bennett Garraway, assistant dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of IST, agrees.  

“Enhancing student success is a key pillar in President Bendapudi’s vision for the University, and this gift will further enable and expand the work we do to support the whole student” she said. “Without a doubt, the center will have a transformative impact on our students and the college.”  

Donors like Gene and Roz Chaiken advance the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve and lead. Through philanthropy, alumni and friends are helping students to join the Penn State family and prepare for lifelong success; driving research, outreach and economic development that grow our shared strength and readiness for the future; and increasing the University’s impact for families, patients and communities across the commonwealth and around the world. Learn more by visiting

>>>Read more about the Chaiken's gift to Penn State