Local Alumni Give of Their Time for Education Program
by Pamela Batson
Steve and Carol Gentry, class of 1969, met when they were students in Penn State’s College of Education. Over the last 40 years, their passion for education and athletics has influenced not only their lives but also their commitment to the State College community.
On April 26, the Gentrys will serve as the first honorary alumni track and field officials in the College of Education’s 4th annual Cycle-Thon and 5K to benefit the Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (SCOPE). SCOPE is a four-week summer program that aims to increase access to the field of education for all high-achieving high school students who are interested in the education profession.
"This event ties together education, young people, athletics and Penn State, a fair summary of the joys of our lives," said the Gentrys.
Steve’s father, Robert Francis Gentry, was professor emeritus of poultry disease research at Penn State, which connected Steve to the University at a young age. So it was an easy decision for him to attend Penn State. As a high school student, he had been a stand out on the track team, having won a State Championship in the mile and two state titles in cross country. He was also a Varsity letter winner in track and cross country for Penn State from 1966 - 1969.
After graduation, he and Carol taught in the State College Area School District where they were also leaders in the track and field and cross country programs. Steve was the head women's track and field and cross country coach at State College High for 21 years. After 30 years of teaching, they retired but continue to remain active. They serve as officials for several runs in the community including First Night’s 5K, NVRC's Half-Marathon, the local Special Olympics, and the children's race at the Arts Festival.
The Gentrys have also been very committed to Penn State. Steve served six years on Penn State's Alumni Council, and Carol is currently in her second term on the Council. The couple mentors students through Penn State’s Fast Start program, serves as conversation partners for several students through Global Connections, and mentors a number of returning adult students in Continuing Education.
To register for Cycle-Thon, the 5K run/walk, or to learn how to contribute to SCOPE, visit: www.ed.psu.edu/educ/cyclethon.