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Nicelys Establish New Endowment for Educational Leadership

Article about the new Robert F. Nicely, Jr. and Donna C. Nicely Doctoral Student Research Endowment in Educational Leadership

by Joe Savrock

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Robert F. Nicely, Jr. and his wife, Donna, have endowed a new research scholarship in Penn State’s College of Education.

The Robert F. Nicely, Jr. and Donna C. Nicely Doctoral Student Research Endowment in Educational Leadership will support outstanding doctoral students majoring in Educational Leadership as they develop their research agendas. Bob ’61 B.S. SECED and Donna ’77 A.A. Liberal Arts created the endowment with a $50,000 commitment as part of their estate plans.

Bob, associate dean emeritus and professor emeritus in Penn State’s College of Education, has mentored many doctoral students and early-career faculty. “Doctoral students who manifest promise of outstanding academic success and leadership in higher education or other research-oriented organizations often need some financial support that will enable them to conduct and disseminate the results of their early inquiries that will help them launch their scholarly careers in these organizations,” he said. “The new Nicely endowment is intended to provide some of that support.”

The Nicely Doctoral Student Research Endowment Fund is the second endowment that the Nicelys have created in the College. Previously, they established an endowment to support the Robert F. Nicely, Jr. and Donna C. Nicely Distinguished Scholar in Educational Leadership. This endowment is currently enabling the Educational Leadership program to bring prominent educational scholars and speakers to University Park to give speeches, meet with faculty, and lead seminars for students.

Bob served on the Dean’s Development Council for the Investing in People initiative from 2003 to 2007. He is a past member of the College of Education Alumni Society Board.  Donna also retired from the College of Education, where she was the contracts and proposals specialist.