Kutztown University Announces Partnership with Folds of Honor

Officials from KU and Folds of Honor sitting at table, signing agreements.

(L to R): Beth Simmons, Folds of Honor Eastern PA-NJ chapter president; Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, university president; T.K. Worley, Folds of Honor scholarships recruiter.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Kutztown University, who was recently named a 2022 Best For Vets: College by Military Times for the eighth consecutive year, provides a wide range of services to the university's active veterans community as part of its commitment to welcoming and supporting military students. The university's partnership with Folds of Honor Foundation, an organization that provides life-changing academic scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen or disabled U.S. service members and first responders, extends this commitment and acknowledges the sacrifice of our Nation's heroes. The university held a formal signing ceremony Thursday, Nov. 10.

Through this partnership, Kutztown University is matching up to $2,000 of the scholarship awarded through Folds of Honor to students of disabled or fallen military service members and first responders. During the fall semester of the 2023 calendar year, this program will support up to five students with the intention of increasing scholarship opportunities for additional students through the support of university benefactors.

"Our partnership with Folds of Honor came together through an introduction made by KU alumni Jim Zellner ’86, a supporter of the university and Folds of Honor. He realized both organizations emphasize the importance of higher education and recognized that together we could provide greater opportunities to students," said Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, president of Kutztown University. "This partnership enables Kutztown University to close the gap between scholarship awards and the cost of tuition. We are proud that more than 30 percent of our student body are first-generation college students. This partnership furthers our goal of providing the college experience to students that otherwise would not be able to afford or achieve their academic aspirations."

“Folds of Honor means a lot to me and my family,” said Kurtis Ravenel Jr. ’23. “I’ve been a scholarship recipient all four of my years of my undergraduate career here at Kutztown. It’s taken a big load off of our shoulders. I love what Folds of Honor represents – giving back to veterans who have risked their lives for our country. I just want to say thank you. I’m proud to be part of this and I’m glad this partnership will bring these resources to more KU students.”

Kutztown University's initiative is modeled after a similar program introduced in 2018 at the University of Memphis.

"Folds of Honor is grateful to Kutztown University for its generous commitment and excited to team up on this program," said Folds of Honor CEO and founder, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney. "We think this partnership can be a force multiplier to our mission and also gain additional awareness for Folds of Honor and our deserving recipients."

Folds of Honor Foundation was founded by Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney, a decorated F-16 Viper Fighter Pilot. From its inception in 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded about 44,000 scholarships totaling nearly $200 million. Minority recipients represent 41% of all scholarships awarded. In 2022, the organization expanded its mission to America's first responders, including police, fire, EMTs, and paramedics.

Our impact is greater together. Helping the dependents of American heroes pursue their educational dreams is possible only with the generosity of everyday citizens. If you would like to support our 'Nation's military and first responder families, you can become a Squadron member by joining thousands of committed American patriots who pledge $13 every month. Other donation options are also available.

About Kutztown University of Pennsylvania 
Founded in 1866, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is a proud member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education located on 289 acres nestled in the beautiful East Penn Valley in Berks County, between Reading and Allentown, Pennsylvania. KU is just two hours from New York City; 90 minutes from Philadelphia.

As the region's center for excellence in academics, culture, and public engagement, KU's programs and reputation for quality offer students the opportunity to discover lifelong avenues of learning and discovery. KU students select from more than 130 areas of study within four colleges in a diverse liberal arts academic environment. To complement their studies, KU's NCAA Division II athletics program with 22 varsity sports joins the more than 160 student clubs and organizations, providing students with a variety of activities for learning and discovery. 

About Folds of Honor

Folds of Honor is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of military members who have fallen or been disabled while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Beginning in 2022, it expanded its mission to include first responders. Our educational scholarships support private school tuition or tutoring in grades K-12, tuition for college, technical or trade school and post-graduate work, including a master's degree, doctorate, or professional program. Funds for a second bachelor's degree or trade/technical program certification are also available.

Since its inception in 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded about 44,000 scholarships totaling about $200 million in all 50 states.

Among the students served, 41 percent are minorities. It is rated a four-star charity by Charity Navigator and Platinum on GuideStar. It was founded by Lt Col Dan Rooney, the only-ever F-16 fighter pilot (with three combat tours in Iraq) and PGA Professional. He is currently stationed at Headquarters Air Force Recruiting Service Detachment 1, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. For more information or to donate in support of a Folds of Honor scholarship visit foldsofhonor.org.