College of Education > News and Publications > News: April-June 2014 > Payne Family Trustee Scholarship in College of Education

Payne Family Trustee Scholarship in College of Education

J. David Payne ’81 EMS and his wife Letitia Payne have pledged $50,000 to establish the Payne Family Trustee Scholarship in the College of Education. The endowment provides financial assistance to undergraduate students enrolled in or planning to enroll in the College of Education at Penn State who have demonstrated a need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses.
Payne Family Trustee Scholarship in College of Education

The Payne Family

J. David Payne ’81 EMS and his wife Letitia Payne have pledged $50,000 to establish the Payne Family Trustee Scholarship in the College of Education. The endowment provides financial assistance to undergraduate students enrolled in or planning to enroll in the College of Education at Penn State who have demonstrated a need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses.

The Paynes were able to take advantage of the Trustee Matching Scholarship Program, which was established to encourage the creation of endowments to provide essential support for needbased scholarships. In consideration of the Payne's willingness to support this initiative, the  University will match 10 percent of the initial principal in perpetuity, which will further extend the impact of the Payne family's gift. The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program was implemented as part of the For The Future campaign and will no longer be available after June 30, 2014.

David's passion for education and his connection to Penn State began when his father, a teacher, was offered a fellowship at Penn State to earn his doctorate in elementary education. A young David and his four siblings moved with their mother and father to Penn State where David's mother earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education and his father earned his doctorate. David's parents went on to have long careers as passionate educators in the Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, area.

"My parents still have people that they taught in elementary school sending them gifts at the holidays," David recalled. "There are very few careers where you can have that kind of impact on people's lives. It always puts me in awe of teachers."

He said he considers himself lucky to now be in a position where he can give back to education and that he believes that education sets the stage and the foundation for every other profession. “Without educators, there won’t be engineers, there won’t be doctors, there won’t be anything else that we need,” David said. “The expectation is that Penn State is going to train great teachers. That is why I wanted to create this scholarship.”

David began his career with Getty Oil Company in Santa Maria, California. He has held various engineering and management positions in California, Trinidad and Tobago, Louisiana, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. David has been the vice president of Drilling and Completions for Chevron since 2006 and is based in Houston, Texas.

David is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and has served in various roles for local chapters. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Houston Food Bank. David is also an enthusiastic supporter of Southwest Schools, an innovative charter school in Houston.

(June 2014)