“Give and it will be given to you…For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” Orville Eberly believed these words from the Gospel of Luke. Indeed, in many ways he lived his life by them. He often remarked that what you give away will come back to you tenfold. And looking back upon a long and fruitful life, it is hard to argue that this is not exactly what happened!
In 1963, Orville and Ruth Eberly created the Eberly Foundation. Their long-time lawyer, Herman Buck, suggested to Orville that he consider establishing a private foundation to provide more continuity and structure in their charitable giving. Orville agreed, and the first meeting of the Foundation’s board was held October 25, 1963. The initial board of directors consisted of Orville Eberly, his wife, Ruth Eberly, their son, Robert E. Eberly, Sr., Ruth’s brother, Jacob D. Moore and Herman M. Buck. The Foundation announced its first grant in 1965-an award of $10,000 to the Pennsylvania State University to be used for scholarships at Penn State’s Fayette County campus.
From that initial $10,000 grant in 1965, The Eberly Foundation’s support of higher education has grown to include scholarship programs and endowments at 28 colleges and universities, including The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Penn State, Fayette-The Eberly Campus, California University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. There are currently 28 scholarship funds in Southwest Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York. There are also two endowed chairs, one at the University of Oklahoma and the other at the University of Pittsburgh. Literally thousands of deserving students from the Southwestern Pennsylvania region have been enabled to further their education beyond high school thanks to scholarships provided by the Eberly Foundation. Many of those students represent the first generation in their families to have had an opportunity to attend college.
In 2013 the Eberly Foundation celebrated its 50th Anniversary at Penn State Fayette-The Eberly Campus.