Great Valley chancellor establishes $50,000 educational equity scholarship

James Nemes talks with a student at the August 2019 international students BBQ

James Nemes, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Great Valley, talks with a new student at the August 2019 international students BBQ.

Credit: Christy Selagy

MALVERN, Pa. — James Nemes, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Great Valley, had considered establishing a campus scholarship for a while. So, when Penn State announced the Educational Equity Matching Program, it was the perfect opportunity, inspiring him to establish the James A. Nemes Educational Equity Scholarship at Penn State Great Valley.

“Jim has been a great leader in helping to expand and enhance our academic programs,” said JoAnn Kelly, director of enrollment management and student services. “He has also been a strong advocate for continuing to diversify our campus and continuing to enhance the experience for the student body. It’s wonderful to see him support and expand our scholarships, which will have a lasting impact for many years to come.”

The recently concluded program matched scholarships created by Penn State alumni and friends that “enhance our ability to recruit and retain students whose gender, race, ethnic, cultural, and/or national background contribute to the diversity of the student body and who have a demonstrated financial need,” according to the guidelines for the program. Although matching funds are no longer available, educational equity scholarships will remain a priority for the University’s current fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.”

Nemes has always felt strongly about continuing to increase diversity and foster a welcoming community.

“This is a really great program that not only helps particular students but also emphasizes the importance of educational equity to the campus community,” Nemes said. “We all benefit from having a culturally and socially diverse campus. It brings different perspectives, different viewpoints. For a graduate campus, where we hope we’re inspiring our students to think critically, those diverse perspectives are more important than ever.”

Nemes’ $25,000 gift to establish the scholarship will be matched 1:1 through the program, and the $50,000 scholarship will last in perpetuity for the campus.

While the primary impact of the scholarship will be aiding students who might not otherwise be able to attend Penn State Great Valley, Nemes hopes it will also motivate others to support the University.

“My hope is that it will inspire others who are in a position to support our efforts to think about doing something similar,” Nemes said.

This scholarship 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 serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit