Arnolds Provide $10 Million Challenge Gift to Lebanon Valley College

 Edward H. Arnold H’87 and Jeanne Donlevy Arnold H’08 pose for a photo

Lebanon Valley College today announced the largest gift in the College’s history. Edward H. Arnold H’87 and Jeanne Donlevy Arnold H’08 are providing a $10 million gift in support of the College’s new Health Professions Building, scheduled to open in 2018. The Arnold’s generous gift establishes a challenge to the College’s alumni and friends to raise an additional $10 million in support of programs and facilities at LVC. The gift is among the largest to be received by a college or university in central Pennsylvania. 

The new Health Professions Building will be named in honor of the Arnolds. It will transform the LVC campus. This facility will house the College’s existing doctor of physical therapy, master of athletic training, and bachelor of exercise science programs, as well as additional health professions-related majors, such as speech-language pathology (master’s) and communications sciences and disorders (baccalaureate).

“We are honored and pleased to make this challenge gift to Lebanon Valley College to help construct its new Health Professions Building,” said Jeanne and Ed Arnold. “We believe in LVC’s bright future and the outstanding education provided by its distinguished faculty for all its students. We are confident that this gift will prove a transformational one for the College and the surrounding region by promoting the health professions. Just as we have decided to contribute, we hope this gift inspires others to make their best gifts to LVC.”

Featuring cutting-edge classrooms, labs, and technology, the new 60,000-sq.-ft. facility will deliver a richer educational experience for students. It will provide for the education and training of future health practitioners at a time when the sector is projected to add five million new U.S. jobs by 2022.

Among other benefits, the new facility will provide flexible classroom space to be used by multiple programs, observation rooms acoustically treated for sound, human performance and gross anatomy labs, flexible faculty office space to increase collaboration with students, and new technologies that enhance teaching pedagogy. The facility will offer an outdoor pavilion for a variety of educational and social purposes. 

The future students trained and educated in this facility will serve others by alleviating suffering and promoting healthier lives. From starting premature babies on a path to success, to providing palliative care for those fighting cancer, and to strengthening physical balance and movement for seniors, LVC’s future health professionals will positively affect the lives of all their patients and surrounding communities. 

“I am so grateful for the Arnolds’ historic gift that is of monumental significance for the entire Lebanon Valley College community,” said Dr. Lewis E. Thayne, LVC president. “Ed and Jeanne’s vision and unwavering commitment to the College will benefit current and future generations of healthcare professionals. We are incredibly fortunate and blessed to have received this magnificent pledge. We honor the Arnolds’ friendship, vision, and commitment to our mission.”

The Arnold family has long been one of LVC’s most generous supporters. Ed and Jeanne Arnold, who received honorary doctorates from Lebanon Valley College in 1987 and 2008, respectively, have supported numerous academic, athletic, cultural, and scholarship projects at the College financially and as active volunteers. The Arnolds’ connections to LVC date back to Ed’s father, Henry, who was a long-time friend of the College and named an honorary member of the College’s Board of Trustees in 1974. Henry and Gladys Arnold Field, named in honor of Ed’s parents, is home to the College’s field hockey, football, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s track & field teams, as well as The Pride of The Valley Marching Band. Arnold Field opened in 1973.

The Arnolds’ legacy at LVC also extends to the Edward H. Arnold Sports Center, which houses recreational facilities for all students and many community members, and The Edward H. Arnold and Jeanne Donlevy Arnold Experiential Education (Arnold Grant) Program. Established in 2011, Arnold Grants support student-faculty research, independent student summer research, and independent student internships. Their financial support has enabled students and faculty to study or serve internships throughout the United States and in Mexico, the Netherlands, and Paraguay. 

In addition, the Arnolds have provided extensive support for the annual Women’s Basketball Pink Game, Lebanon Valley Education Partnership, Physical Therapy Free Clinic, and construction of several campus academic buildings, including the Neidig-Garber Science Center and Vernon and Doris Bishop Library. They were also co-chairs of the College’s Great Expectations Campaign that ended in 2005.

Ed served as a member of the College’s Board of Trustees from 1975 to 2011, during which time he was vice chair (1989 to 2011) and long-time chair of the board’s Finance and Investment Committee. Under his leadership, the College’s endowment grew from $3 million to $46.4 million by the time he retired and was named board member emeritus in 2011. 

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in accounting in 1961, Ed joined the U.S. Army where he served as a lieutenant from 1961 to 1963. He then joined his father’s business, New Penn Motor Express Inc., and helped turn it into a national, publicly traded transportation business. Ed became president and chief executive officer after his father’s death in 1974. 

Ed continued to grow the company and created Arnold Industries in 1983; and served as CEO, president and chair until 2001. At the time, Arnold Industries was a transportation and logistics holding company with New Penn Motor Express Inc., Arnold Transportation Services Inc., and Arnold Logistics under its umbrella. He retired as chair of Arnold Logistics in 2006.

A recipient of the Lebanon School District Distinguished Alumni Award, Ed serves or has served on numerous professional and philanthropic boards, including the American Trucking Association, United Way of Lebanon County, Lebanon County Workshop, Lebanon Community Library (board president), Regular Common Carrier Conference (chair), Middle Atlantic Conference (vice president and chair), Trucking Management, Inc. (director), Good Samaritan Hospital (chair), Lebanon County Chamber of Commerce, and Notre Dame University (member, Advisory Council for University Libraries). 

In 2011, Ed received the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America, the highest commendation for personal commitment to improving the lives of Scouts across the nation. In 2013, Jeanne also received the Silver Buffalo Award, a distinctive honor awarded to more than a dozen U.S. presidents. Jeanne is the first woman to be named to the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Jeanne has also been active in the community and at Lebanon Valley College where she has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2013. She serves as the vice chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and is a member of the Marketing and Enrollment Committee.

A native of Rhode Island, she is a graduate of the Rhode Island Hospital School of Nursing. She earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Maine where she was also a master’s candidate in health services administration.

During the course of her career, Jeanne held various administrative positions in healthcare, including assistant director of nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lancaster; director of nursing and chief operating officer at Ephrata Community Hospital; and chief operating officer at Community General Hospital, Reading. She retired from her medical career as senior vice president for patient-care services at Good Samaritan Hospital, Lebanon.

Jeanne is a tireless advocate for children, education, and healthcare issues. In 2005, she was named Citizen of the Year by the Lebanon Daily News, and in 2007, she received the Lebanon Valley College Founders Day Award in honor of her many years of community service to the residents of central Pennsylvania. 

She has served or serves in leadership positions on numerous charitable and educational boards, including Lebanon Family Health Services, The Alliance Project, Cornwall Manor (chair, Development Committee), Penn State Children’s Hospital at the Hershey Medical Center, United Way of Lebanon County, Lebanon Community Library, WITF, Lebanon Community Health Council, and is joining the board of Penn State Hershey Medical Center, among many others. Additionally, Jeanne is receiving an honorary doctorate in humanities from Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.

Together, the Arnolds provided support for the establishment of numerous charities and the erection of several philanthropic facilities. Among others, the Jeanne Donlevy Arnold Center at Lebanon Family Health Services, Ed and Jeanne Arnold Transportation and Logistics Center at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, Ed and Jeanne Arnold Early Learning Center—YMCA Lebanon, Lebanon Free Clinic, and The Hummingbird Program at Penn State Children’s Hospital were created through their generosity and volunteer commitment.