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GA Campus Grad Makes $30K Gift Toward Scholarship Fund

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
March 20, 2018
Posted in: Announcements

Barbara and Regis Becker (Penn State photo)

Penn State University's director of ethics and compliance is retiring June 30 --- but he's the one providing a retirement gift.

Regis Becker, a 1978 Penn State graduate, and his wife, Barbara, have made a $30,000 committment toward a new scholarship at the university's Greater Allegheny Campus in McKeesport.

The donation was announced by the university on Friday.

"When Barbara and I talked about what was important to us, she was the one who suggested the McKeesport campus," Becker said in a prepared statement. "She said, 'I really think we should try to do something for that campus, because they were so important in your career and your formation."

Becker spent two years at the McKeesport campus before completing his degree at University Park. He later earned a law degree from Duquesne University.

Becker's career includes service as a detective for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office and in the FBI; manager of special investigations for Union Carbide Corp.; director of corporate security for Praxair, Inc.; and more than three decades at PPG Industries, where he rose to the position of chief compliance officer.

He was named Penn State's first director of ethics and compliance in 2013.

None of it would have happened if the McKeesport campus hadn't taken a chance on him, said Becker, who admits he "hadn't made a lot of good decisions in high school regarding my grades."

The McKeesport campus's decision to admit him gave Becker the opportunity for a good career, he said.

Through Penn State's Open Doors program, the university will match Becker's donation on a two-to-one basis, growing the new scholarship to $90,000.

First preference for the scholarship will be given to students in the Raise.Me program, which rewards students at certain Pennsylvania high schools with so-called "micro-scholarships" if they attain certain goals.

Jacqueline Edmondson, Greater Allegheny's chancellor and chief academic officer, said the Beckers' gift will "provide opportunities for our students that will truly transform their lives."

The gift, she said, "means a great deal to our entire campus community."

Regis Becker said he and his wife will continue to stay involved and supportive of the McKeesport campus.

"People are working hard, people are making their own history and people are making their own breaks," he said. "To be able to contribute to their efforts to become a better person and more successful to help their families --- I just think it's a natural inclination that people have, and we certainly had it."

Originally published March 20, 2018.

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