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Bunton-Waller Fellows and Lenfest Scholars Program

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Who are Bunton and Waller?

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Mildred Settle Bunton, 1932

In the face of overwhelming poverty, Mildred Settle Bunton refused to let economics steal her dream of attending college. Mildred, recognized as the first African-American female to graduate from Penn State, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Development in 1932. She worked for faculty in exchange for room and board, borrowed money for tuition, and won scholarships from the State Federation of Pennsylvania Women. Money was not Mildred’s only obstacle; when she arrived at Penn State in 1929, she was the only African-American co-ed on campus.

She went on to earn a Master’s degree in nutrition from Cornell University in 1953. Her career accomplishments include: Director of Dietetics at Freedmen’s Hospital, Associate Professor at Howard University, worked with the 1969 White House Conference on Nutrition, Food and Health, and Subcommittee Chairman on the District of Columbia’s Mayors Commission on Food, Nutrition, and Health. In 1983, Mildred was listed in Who’s Who Among Blacks in Metropolitan Washington.

 

Calvin Hoffman Waller, 1904

Desegregation often brings to mind the timeless images of the Civil Right’s struggle: protest marches, the Kent State anti-war demonstration, the “Whites Only” signs. Sometimes the most amazing stories of desegregation slip by with little notice and leave a lasting legacy for diversity. Calvin Hoffman Waller, class of 1904, is believed to be Penn State’s first African-American graduate, although there are no official school records from that time to indicate the students’ racial identity. A native of Macon, GA, Calvin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.

 His arrival on campus does not seem to have provoked any disturbances; instead, he distinguished himself as an accomplished vocalist and quarterback for the football team, the Tumblers. His professional accomplishments include: Associate Editor of Penn State’s La Vie, Head of the Agricultural Department at Prairie State University in Texas, faculty member at Haynes Institute in Augusta, GA, and Texas State Leader of Negro Extension work.

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Bunton-Waller Fellowship Information

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The Mildred S. Bunton and Calvin H. Waller Undergraduate Fellows program seeks to enhance the diversity of undergraduate representation at The Pennsylvania State University.

The Bunton-Waller Fellows program attracts students from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds who have demonstrated academic potential and are eligible to attend Penn State. The scholarship offers full in-state tuition, room and board to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania residents, and out-of-state tuition to non-resident first-year students, resulting in a student body that more closely reflects the cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity in Pennsylvania and the nation.

Bunton-Waller Fellows must enroll at the University Park campus and live in Ritner Hall during their first academic year in order to receive the award.

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Who is Brook J. Lenfest?

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Brook J. Lenfest is a veteran of the cable and broadband industry. He is the chairman of NetCarrier, Inc., a leading integrated communications service provider based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and a general partner with Mariner Commercial Properties, Inc.

Brook J. Lenfest balances a growing career with a conviction to giving back to the community by focusing on its education resources. Brook co-founded a Philadelphia based charter school system, Mastery Charter Schools, that now operates four high-performing middle/high schools. In 2000, Brook (a former Penn State student) and his wife, Dawn, created a charitable foundation, The Brook J. Lenfest Foundation, which helps disadvantaged students in the greater Philadelphia Region. The grants enable recipients to pursue their dreams through educational opportunities.

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Brook J. Lenfest Scholarship Information

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The Brook J. Lenfest Trustee Scholarship provides significant financial aid for students attending Penn State University Park. Eligibility is based on demonstrated financial need through qualification for federal Pell Grant support. First preference will be given to Philadelphia Futures program. Second preference will be given to students who graduate from a public high school in the School District of Philadelphia.

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The Mildred Bunton - Calvin Waller Fellows and Brook J. Lenfest Scholars

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