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Penn State Renaissance Dinner Back On After One Year Hiatus

by on November 15, 2012 6:25 AM

Leaders in the State College and Penn State community, Ed and Charlene Friedman are Penn State's 2012 Renaissance Fund honorees and will be honored for their lifetime achievement at a dinner on Thursday night. 

According to Penn State Live, each year, the Renaissance Fund honors an individual or couple who, through a lifetime of service, has contributed greatly to the Penn State and State College communities. In its selection process, the fund’s board of directors seeks to recognize individuals who have deep roots in the Centre Region, close relationships with civic and university leaders, and a commitment to philanthropy.

"The Friedmans truly embody the spirit of the Renaissance Fund," said John Walizer, president of the fund’s board of directors. "Through their tireless commitment to the university and to local organizations, they have left a lasting impact on the life of our community and its members."

The Centre County Gazette has a full profile on the Friedmans, who were announced as honorees by Penn State in August. 

The dinner starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel.

"We are expecting more than 400 guests to help us celebrate what Ed and Charlene have done for both the Penn State and Centre County communities," said Penn State Office of Annual Giving spokeswoman Kathy Kurtz.

The total raised in their honor to support "academically talented students with the greatest financial need" will also be revealed on Thursday, Kurtz said. 

Historically, the Renaissance Dinner is an annual event on campus. In 2011, however, it was put on hold indefinitely and ultimately never held because one of the supposed recipients, former Penn State President Graham Spanier, canceled the dinner on Nov. 7, 2011.

Two days later, he was fired from his position as university president for his role in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. 

Spanier and his wife, Sandra, had previously been announced as the 2011 Renaissance Fund honorees. 

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Laura Nichols is a StateCollege.com news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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