Grant of $5 Million to Establish Katherine J. Bishop Fund for Global Study

Students studying abroad pose in front of La Sagrada Familia.

Dr. James M. MacLaren, president of Lebanon Valley College, announced that the College will be receiving one of the largest gifts in its history to establish in perpetuity the Katherine J. Bishop Fund for Global Study. Established through a donor-advised fund at Vanguard Charitable, the grant will create a $4.5 million endowed fund and will provide $500,000 in current-use funds that will begin assisting students as early as the Fall 2022 semester.

Katherine J. Bishop, CEO, president, and chairperson of Lebanon Seaboard Corporation, has been a member of the College’s Board of Trustees since 1988 and has served several terms as vice-chair of the board.

“Students who study off-campus for a week, a month, or more return with expanded perspectives on culture, business, and more,” said Dr. MacLaren. “This gift is an investment in LVC students. They will have increased financial support to study abroad or off campus, and they will have even more opportunities to choose from each year. I extend my deepest gratitude to Kathy for making this fund possible.”

Once fully endowed, the Katherine J. Bishop Fund for Global Study will support four College initiatives, leading to greater global exposure for LVC students. The Bishop Fund will:

  1. Provide grants to students, especially those from higher-need families, to help mitigate travel cost and other barriers associated with studying abroad.
  2. Allow the College to increase the number of short-term, study-abroad courses offered over summer and winter break.
  3. Enable the College to increase its one-week study abroad opportunities that augment semester-long courses.
  4. Enhance and expand cultural exchanges through global university partnerships like the College’s existing collaboration with Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

“My two study abroad experiences were very impactful parts of my undergraduate education,” said Bishop. “I learned that not everyone does things as we do in the United States. It doesn’t make either culture right or wrong, just different. That understanding of differences has continued to inform my interactions with other people throughout my adult life. I am happy to provide that learning opportunity to future generations of Lebanon Valley College students through this endowed fund.”

Bishop received her B.A. in physics from Wellesley College and M.S. in management from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She pursued additional studies at Harvard University, the Sorbonne in Paris, France, and the University of Madrid in Spain. After graduating from MIT, Bishop moved to California and later Australia for a decade, holding several executive positions. In 1987, she returned to Lebanon to take a leadership role at Lebanon Seaboard Corporation, the company founded by her father as the Lebanon Chemical Corporation in 1947. She worked in various senior executive positions before she became CEO in 2004.

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