Patrick McGivern ’90 Eng, ’00 M.Eng is the perfect example of a dedicated Penn State alumnus.
With support from his employer, Lockheed Martin, McGivern has donated more than $250,000 to Penn State, including $100,000 to establish the Audrey J. McGivern Trustee Endowed Scholarship at Penn State Beaver to honor his mother. He’s also a member of Penn State’s prestigious Mount Nittany Society which is comprised of donors who have given $250,000 or more to the University.
Raised in Hopewell Township, McGivern watched his father, Brian, struggle in the troubled local steel industry. Brian worked at the former J&L Steel Company, now LTV Steel.
“As I grew up, I saw the insecurity of the steel mills, and I decided I wanted something different for my future,” McGivern said.
After graduating, McGivern moved to eastern Pennsylvania to work at GE Aerospace which became Lockheed Martin. Now living in King of Prussia, he’s an aerospace engineer at the company working on top-level government projects.
He credits his mother with his success. “She was an inspiration through all the personal sacrifices she made,” he said. “She encouraged our education and always took us to the Aliquippa Library. A grade of A minus was never good enough for her.”
McGivern attended Beaver campus for two years and graduated from Penn State University Park. He’s emphatic about the benefits of Beaver’s small campus environment, where students, faculty, and staff interact easily and often.
McGivern established the scholarship to give back to a place be believes gave him so much. The recipient of multiple college scholarships, McGivern knows how important the financial support is to students.
“I hope my gift generates scholarships that will impact the recipients’ lives,” he said, “and I hope that someday they’ll be able to give back to Penn State, too.”
Kristen Sutton, a Beaver campus freshman majoring in forensic science, is one of the recipients of the McGivern Scholarship.
“I appreciate what Mr. McGivern has done,” Sutton said. “It’s a very generous gift and especially helpful for someone in need.”
McGivern has made gifts to other Penn State units, too, including the Blue Band and the Penn State football program, one of his major passions in life. He hasn’t missed a home or away game since he graduated.
When the Nittany Lions play at Beaver Stadium, McGivern flies to Pittsburgh, picks up his father, and they drive to the game in Happy Valley.
McGivern’s advice to graduating college students? “Whatever your passion is, don’t let anyone tell you not to follow it,” McGivern said. “Don’t worry about the money. If you’re determined enough, it will come.”
Originally written by Alex Vucelich for the Penn State Beaver Nittany News alumni magazine, Fall 2010
- Alumni Information
- Penn State Beaver Alumni Society
- Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association