Philanthropist Steven Korman urges Abington students to live a life of service

Abington service

Philanthropist and real estate developer Steven H. Korman attended Penn State Abington and even served as the commencement speaker.

Credit: Pam Brobst

ABINGTON, Pa. — Philanthropist, real estate developer, and 1962 alumnus Steven H. Korman discussed some serious business over dinner recently with Penn State Abington honor students — the business of living a good and fulfilling life.

Known in the Philadelphia region as much for founding Korman Communities as for his staunch support of nonprofits, Korman served as the keynote speaker for the Civitas Victus Dictio honor society dinner.

The developer, who attended Abington, brought copies of his favorite book for the students.

"Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life," Korman read from "All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

“When we were five, we all learned to give back, but some of us lost our way," he said.

Korman service

Philanthropist and 1962 alumnus Steven H. Korman (seated, center) joins Penn State Abington students and faculty associated with the Civitas Victus Dictio honor society.

Credit: Regina Broscius

Korman then recounted a mysterious illness at age 40 that jump-started his desire to help others through MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance) in Philadelphia.

"I learned the importance of good nutrition when I was sick, and I decided to get involved with MANNA," he said. "I still work with them, and they provide meals to people with serious illnesses."

'You need to have humanity. You need to be real and honest and find mentors who are the same." Steven H. Korman, 1962 Penn State alumnus

He explained the importance, too, of merging business and community.

"I work in business, but I work with people," he said. "You need to have humanity. You need to be real and honest and find mentors who are the same."

Linda Patterson Miller, distinguished professor of English at Abington asked Korman about the role of the humanities in business.

"Awhile ago The Wall Street Journal asked people, if you went back to college now, what courses would you take," he said. "Most said more English courses. We all need to communicate better. We are a community and we need to communicate."

Korman has spent the past 50 years in the real estate industry specializing in revolutionizing the multi-family sector. As a philanthropist, he contributes advice and financial support to many organizations in the region

Penn State Abington established its own honor society, Civitas Victus Dictio to provide high-achieving students with a community of ideas. Members are assigned readings before each meeting, where they discuss the topic over dinner with faculty and a guest speaker.


Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 18 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of our 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. A state-of-the-art residence hall will open in August 2017.