New scholarship supports BLUEprint students in engineering or business
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A new scholarship will provide support for students participating in the Penn State BLUEprint Peer Mentoring Program. The Gilmore/Chang Family Scholarship was created by alumni Deryk and Camille Gilmore as a way to give back to Penn State and to remember their fathers, who were both role models in their communities during their lifetimes.
The Gilmores’ fathers died relatively early in life, but they were both able to make an impact during their lifetimes. Deryk’s father, Arthur T. Gilmore, was an engineer and one of the first black men in the Navy. He also designed one of the first skyscrapers. Camille’s father, Dennis Chang, immigrated to New York from Jamaica and worked for the government to support his family.
“God had other plans for our fathers early in our lives, but they were a shining light while they were here!” said Deryk Gilmore. “Our fathers worked so hard to help people and we wanted them to be recognized as the role models they were in their communities. Arthur T. Gilmore and Dennis Chang worked in careers that were not common for men of color at that time. They worked and were family men.”
The Gilmores committed $25,000 for the scholarship fund, which will offer $5,000 in direct student support for each of the next five years. The Gilmore/Chang Family Scholarship will be awarded to full-time undergraduate students who have demonstrated a financial need, meet the academic requirements, participate in the BLUEprint Peer Mentoring Program, and hold the values of mentorship, leadership and service. Preference will be given to students in the College of Engineering or Smeal College of Business.
BLUEprint is a peer mentoring program focused on offering cultural, social and academic support to students of color, specifically those who are first-year or transfer/change-of-campus students. BLUEprint is housed in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs.
During their time at Penn State, the Gilmores were active student leaders and were involved with several leadership programs for students of color.
Camille, a 1991 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business management from the Smeal College of Business, was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Deryk, a 1990 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management from the College of Agricultural Sciences, played on the 1986 football National Championship team; started Incoming Black Athletes At Penn State (IBAAPS)—the first mentor education program for student athletes; and was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The couple met as Penn State students in 1989 at the McDonald’s on College Avenue. They both then went on to receive master of business administration degrees through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Deryk also received a master’s degree in sports management also from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Camille is now the vice president of human resources and chief global diversity officer with Boston Scientific. She also serves on several corporate and college boards, including those of the Society for Human Resource Management and Georgia Gwinnett College. Deryk is the owner of Day 1 Sports and Entertainment as well as owner of The Total Package Group based out of Georgia, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
The Gilmores continue to support university students and programs that provide mentoring and service opportunities. They believe strongly in helping others and providing opportunities to those who may need an opening.
The Gilmores recommend that students be willing to put in the time, energy and effort to be great.
“That might not be enough, but with your desire you will find an opening. We hope this scholarship is an opening,” said Camille Gilmore.
Members of the University and community who are interested in contributing to Student Affairs to support students at Penn State can contact Willie West, associate director of development for Student Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.