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Penn State Postpones Renaissance Fund Event to Honor Graham, Sandra Spanier

on November 07, 2011 7:11 PM

A Penn State fundraising dinner set to honor Penn State President Graham Spanier and Hemingway scholar Sandra Spanier has been postponed, the university announced Monday evening.

The annual Penn State Renaissance Fund dinner recognizes a different honoree -- or pair of honorees -- each year. In the process, it generates thousands of dollars in contributions for the university's Renaissance Fund scholarships.

Honorees, selected by a committee, are chosen for their contributions to the Penn State and State College communities, university literature shows.

The Spaniers, who are married, are the honorees selected for the 2011 dinner. It had been scheduled for Wednesday at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

But "in light of this week's news events at Penn State," the Spaniers requested that the dinner "appropriately be postponed and rescheduled for spring 2012," according to a university letter.

The letter was sent electronically Monday evening to anticipated attendees at the dinner.

"We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you," the letter goes on. "We will notify you when the dinner is rescheduled.

"And once again we thank you for your support of the Renaissance Fund scholarship program," it continues. "It is through your generosity that many worthy students are receiving a Penn State education."

In an e-mail message to, university spokeswoman Lisa Powers wrote this on Monday evening:

"The Renaissance Fund is one of Penn State's most significant efforts for raising scholarship funds for students. Scholarship support for student needs is our highest fundraising priority. President Spanier and his wife asked that it be postponed until spring because their attention is so heavily focused right now on the troubling charges by the attorney general."

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