SHARON, Pa. — Dating back to Frank Buhl establishing a course in the Shenango Valley in the early 1900s, golf is engrained in the Shenango Valley’s history. Thanks to community and alumni support, Penn State Shenango is reinstating a coed golf team, beginning in the fall 2022 semester.
The Shenango campus participated in the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio’s “PA-OH Gives” campaign in June. Giving week is a chance for local community organizations to fundraise and earn a matching donation from the foundation. Shenango did just that, participating in the week-long fundraiser to start a golf program.
Director of Development and Alumni Relations Ty Cole said, “We’re extremely grateful for the foundation’s support and for allowing us to be a part of giving week. The foundation continues to prove - through events like this - that philanthropy is alive and thriving in the area. They are leading the charge.” Cole added, “We were absolutely blown away by the support. It proves the community wants to see the campus succeed and build around our success.”
Shenango’s goal to start the golf program was $6,000. Through community members, alumni, employees, and the foundation’s matching dollars, the Shenango campus was able to raise a total of $12,778 from 28 donors, more than doubling the goal. The Community Foundation raised a total of $1,273,301 through giving week.
“When I started at Shenango, it became clear that the community has a strong golf culture,” said Athletic Director Amanda Howett. "With more than five courses in a 15-minute radius and increased student requests, it made a lot of sense for us to add golf as the next sport."
Shenango Athletics has expanded rapidly since its rebirth in 2018, starting with men’s basketball. Since then, the campus has added women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, and golf is the next expansion.
Campus Director Jo Anne Carrick said, “We’re so thankful for the support from the Community Foundation and the donors who participated. The foundation is truly advancing philanthropy and the momentum in our area through fundraisers like giving week.”
Carrick continued, “There is an energy in the downtown area right now. Adding sports at the campus increases the number of students looking for things to do near campus. By collaborating with community partners like JCL Energy, Primary Health Network, Sharon Regional, HopeCAT, First National Bank, Winner International, Buhl Park, Buhl Club, and so many more, we’re building a culture for students to have a college-town atmosphere in Sharon.”
Executive Director of Buhl Park Tom Roskos said, “I’m excited for Penn State Shenango to start a collegiate golf program here in our community. Now, young adults can stay near home in a comfortable, friendly environment, help economic development in the area, compete in golf, and get a Penn State degree. The opportunity for kids to grow up playing golf at Buhl Park on a free golf course and then play in college locally while getting a Penn State education is tremendous.”
Golf teams typically have 10 to 12 student-athletes on the roster. Shenango’s team will be independent to start in 2022, and then will join the Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) beginning in fall 2023 alongside other Penn State campuses. The PSUAC is a part of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. More details will be forthcoming regarding scheduling, courses, and coaching announcements.
A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence
Support for athletics at Penn State Shenango will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.