Joe and Marilyn Henry create graduate scholarship at Penn State Great Valley

MALVERN, Pa. — Joe and Marilyn Henry of Huntingdon Valley recently committed $50,000 to permanently endow the Joseph P. and Marilyn H. Henry Part-Time Graduate Scholarship at Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies. The gift will support the campus’ efforts in A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, the University’s current fundraising campaign.

“Through the Greater Penn State campaign, we are asking our alumni and friends to join us in helping to keep a Penn State degree within reach of talented students from every economic background,” said James Nemes, chancellor and chief academic officer of Penn State Great Valley. “I am grateful to Joe and Marilyn Henry for creating this scholarship, which will place advanced degrees in reach of ambitious, hard-working students.”

The Joseph P. and Marilyn H. Henry Part-Time Graduate Scholarship will support part-time students who are pursuing a master’s degree at Penn State Great Valley and have demonstrated financial need. Through the Greater Penn State campaign, the University will match the Henrys’ gift to increase the scholarship’s impact. A limited pool of matching funds is available for alumni and friends who wish to endow similar scholarships at the Great Valley campus.

Joseph Henry received a bachelor of science degree in health planning and administration from the College of Health and Human Development in 1976. He received an MBA from Temple University in 1985. The retired vice president of corporate planning and support services at Independence Blue Cross (IBC), he became acquainted with the Great Valley campus when he utilized the school’s project management training for IBC employees. In 2008, he joined the campus’ Advisory Board, and he has since served as chair of the board and its development committee.

Marilyn Henry spent 27 years as an educator and administrator for schools in southeastern Pennsylvania, including 16 years with Montgomery County schools. She received a bachelor of arts in education from LaSalle University. She earned her master of education from Beaver College (now Arcadia University), where she also received a certificate in educational administration.

As longtime supporters of the campus, the Henrys have now made three major gifts to Penn State Great Valley. In 2011, they helped fund renovations for the student lounge in the Main Building, and in 2013, they made a gift of $50,000 to expand Great Valley’s art gallery, now called the Henry Gallery.

As former graduate students themselves, the Henrys know the challenge of balancing coursework with a full-time career and family. And for Marilyn, as a career educator, it is important to support graduate students in pursuit of their professional aspirations.

“Marilyn and I are proud to contribute toward a scholarship that will not only benefit Great Valley students immediately, but also for years to come,” said Joe Henry. “As a Penn Stater, I know what it means to be educated by the University, and I understand the rigor and reputation of Great Valley’s programs. I hope that by subsidizing the cost of tuition, we’ll see more graduates take on leadership roles in area businesses and the local community.”

Gifts from Penn State's alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University's historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university: Private support will keep the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; create transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impact the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit