UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has named Stephen Taub, a former Penn State Abington student and a 1973 graduate of the University Park campus, as its 2019 Philanthropist of the Year. The award, which was presented to Taub on May 31, recognizes individuals, couples or families who have demonstrated exceptional generosity in the promotion and support of the University.
Taub was honored for his transformational philanthropy to the campus where he began his Penn State career, including the largest gift in Penn State Abington’s history. Last year, Taub committed $17.3 million to create endowments that will have a profound impact on the opportunities and experiences the campus offers to its students.
“Through his successful career as an international business leader, Steve understands that a Penn State degree can open doors to students from every background,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “He also knows that it’s equally important for the University to equip its graduates with the perspectives and skills that will help them succeed in an increasingly global economy. His support will help Penn State Abington and the University redefine what it means to be an educational leader in our interconnected world.”
Taub’s landmark gift to Penn State Abington came as the campus welcomed the largest incoming class in its history, 50 percent of whom were students of color and 25 percent international students. Support from Taub will create funds to meet the needs of this diverse student body, including scholarships and global engagement programs focused on leadership, innovation and multiculturalism within education, commerce and government.
“Steve’s belief that our campus and our students should be international leaders will guide our growth for decades to come,” said Penn State Abington Chancellor Damian J. Fernandez. “As the University’s Philanthropist of the Year, he has set a standard for visionary investment in the future of Penn State.”
The most recent gift from Taub built upon years of philanthropy to the campus, and his gifts to Penn State Abington now total more than $22 million. That support reflects Taub’s appreciation for the role that his Penn State education played in his life and career as the former president and CEO of Mafco Worldwide Corp., the world’s largest natural licorice products manufacturer. During Taub’s 38-year career at Mafco Worldwide, he managed operations in the United States, Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, and China. His regular visits to more than 90 countries established him as a well-respected global industrialist and leader and affirmed his appreciation for intercultural experiences.
“I want to provide Penn State Abington students with similar opportunities to experience other cultures and become citizens of the world, opportunities that will enrich their education while preparing them for the 21st-century workforce,” said Taub. “I’m deeply honored to have been chosen as Penn State’s Philanthropist of the Year, but it’s even more meaningful to me to know that new generations of Penn State Abington students will be able to find their place in the world through my support.”
Taub’s philanthropy 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 hard-working 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.