Abington honors alumnus, longtime donor Nick Maiale at naming ceremony

People standing in room

Nicholas J. Maiale (front) is surrounded by Penn State Abington student leaders at the naming ceremony for the Nick Maiale Student Government and Leadership Room.

Credit: Dan Z. Johnson

ABINGTON, Pa. — Penn State Abington honored one of its most generous and loyal supporters and a former student government president, Nicholas J. Maiale, last week by dedicating the Nick Maiale Student Government and Leadership Room in the Lares Building on campus. 

“I’ll never forget all the great people I’ve met over the years at Abington. It’s been a great journey. It started in September 1969 when the dean encouraged me to get involved in student government, and that’s when my political career started,” said Maiale, an attorney and former state representative.

A 1973 graduate, Maiale was joined at the event by campus and student leaders and friends, including Ira Lubert, the former chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. 

Andrew August, interim chancellor of Abington, said Maiale knows well that experience in student organizations provides life-changing lessons in leadership and teamwork. 

“Having a dedicated space for student leaders to meet and conduct business on campus allows them to more effectively lead and inspire their teams. It helps them build on the leadership skills they’ve acquired and prepares them for post-collegiate, real-world experiences, expanding the ways they can have a positive impact on the world,” he said. 

Kyleigh Byers, the current Student Government Association president, thanked Maiale for his thoughtful philanthropy. 

“This room is for the entire campus to use, and I encourage everyone to continue to love Abington and continue to give back,” she said.    

Maiale also received the Donor Appreciation Award from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at the naming event. The award recognizes a onetime Abington student whose philanthropic investments on campus have created a lasting impact on Abington students. August nominated Maiale for the award. 

“Nick’s incredible generosity over many years has cleared the path for countless Penn State Abington students to persist and earn their degrees. He has demonstrated his unwavering devotion to setting up students for success through five areas of support: an internship fund, an open doors scholarship, and three endowments for students with disabilities, a scholarship to help reduce the financial burden of earning a college degree, and one for general campus support,” August said. 

Having a dedicated space for student leaders ... helps them build on the leadership skills they’ve acquired and prepares them for post-collegiate, real-world experiences.

—Andrew August , interim chancellor, Penn State Abington

Born and raised in South Philadelphia, Maiale first studied at Abington, serving as president of the Student Government Association and receiving the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award for exemplary character, academics, and contributions to the University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of the Liberal Arts at University Park.  

He earned his law degree and established a firm in Philadelphia with a roster of high-profile clients. Simultaneously, he was elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1980 as the representative for his home legislative district in South Philadelphia, and he was re-elected for consecutive terms through 1992.  

For nearly three decades, Maiale served on the board of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System. He was appointed board chairman in 1992, directing management of the fund, which grew from nearly $5 billion dollars to more than $26 billion during his tenure.  

Throughout his distinguished career, Maiale has served as a trusted adviser, philanthropist, and mentor to students and the campus advisory board and leadership. He was named the campus chair for the University’s Grand Destiny capital campaign, and Abington recognized him as its outstanding alumnus in 1982 and distinguished alumnus in 1998.  

In 2001, he was named an Alumni Fellow, the most prestigious award bestowed by the Penn State Alumni Association. Alumni Fellows are leaders in their professional fields who accept an invitation from the president of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators. In 2017, Maiale received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Penn State Board of Trustees upon an outstanding graduate. 

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.