Abington 'shaped our young lives': Alumni brothers fund annual scholarship

The Frantz brothers and their wives with Penn State Abington student athlete Taylor LaPage

John and Marty Frantz and Susan and Ross Frantz established an annually funded scholarship at Penn State Abington, which offers a lower entry point for creating a scholarship. It was awarded to student athlete Taylor LaPage (center), and she said it allows her to focus on her coursework and reduce her concerns about paying tuition and other expenses.

Credit: Blair Weber

ABINGTON, Pa. — The Frantz brothers — John, class of 1969, and Ross, class of 1975 — attended Penn State Abington a few years apart, but when they recently sat down together to reflect on their college years, they had similar thoughts on the lifelong impact of their time on campus.

“Coming here really shaped our young lives, and because of our education we were able to get good jobs and have the wherewithal to do something productive,” John said.

“My education really helped me step out of my comfort zone,” Ross said, recalling a study abroad experience in Germany.

Small classes, expert faculty, campus athletics and the opportunity to develop long-running friendships helped steer them into careers and personal relationships that they still treasure, they said. Those experiences led the siblings and their wives, Marty and Susan, to support Abington students who need financial assistance to stay on the path to complete their degrees.

“We wanted to give back to something that was important in our lives, and we wanted to help students. Our Penn State experience is with us to this day,” Ross said.

The two couples created the Frantz Family Scholarship, a non-endowed, annually funded scholarship. Annually funded scholarships come with a minimum gift commitment of $12,500 paid over five years and offer a lower entry point for a scholarship than endowed funds, which generate a percentage of their value in perpetuity, creating permanent support.

Annual scholarships allow gifts to go directly and immediately to students. Just as with endowed scholarships, donors can set criteria, such as prioritizing students studying a particular major or who live in a specific geographic area, for how the scholarship is awarded. The 2023-24 Frantz Family Scholarship was awarded to Taylor LaPage, a senior student-athlete.

“I’m so grateful for the support I received from the Frantzes. Because of the scholarship, I can focus on my courses during my last year and not worry so much about how to pay the bills,” said LaPage, who plays volleyball at Abington.

Ross wants students to know that they have alumni supporting them so they can focus on earning their degrees.

“There are going to be times when you have tough courses or a tough professor or money is a problem, and we want to help students persevere. We helped our own children with college, and we know what a tremendous benefit it was for them. But it’s not the case for many students, so we want to help others along way,” he said.

Gifts like the Frantz Family Scholarship advance the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve and lead. Through philanthropy, alumni and friends are helping students to join the Penn State family and prepare for lifelong success; driving research, outreach and economic development that grow our shared strength and readiness for the future; and increasing the University’s impact for families, patients, and communities across the commonwealth and around the world. Learn more by visiting raise.psu.edu.

About Penn State Abington

Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With more than 3,100 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 25 majors, accelerated master's degrees, undergraduate research, the Schreyer Honors College, NCAA Division III athletics and more.