Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity alumni rally in support of Piazza Center Research

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, Gamma Omega Chapter Alumni (ATO Penn State Alumni), has contributed $75,000 to support fraternity and sorority research through Penn State’s Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform. The contribution was matched by the University.

ATO Penn State Alumni hope this gift inspires other alumni and organizations to make an impact on the future of the fraternity and sorority experience through a gift to the Piazza Center.

“We feel this is the most important initiative for the future of fraternity and sorority life at Penn State and are very grateful to President Barron and his leadership team that we have this center on our campus. We are excited to be leaders in working with and supporting the Piazza Center,” said a statement from the ATO Penn State Alumni group.

The gift will support the expansion of the center’s research agenda and change model, which is a two-pronged approach of stronger and safer fraternities and sororities at University Park and nationwide. The “stronger” goal focuses on enhancing student learning, and “safer” focuses on a campus prevention and intervention agenda.

“Penn State’s Alpha Tau Omega undergraduate and alumni members have been leaders within our fraternity community for many years, and this gift proves their leadership once again,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs. “The University’s effort to improve the fraternity and sorority experience requires partnership with fraternities and sororities themselves, and this gift in support of the Piazza Center is a strong statement that we have a partner in ATO. I could not be more grateful for both their generosity and their shared commitment with us to this important cause.”

The Piazza Center is a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to uplifting fraternity and sorority life whose aim is to create actionable data and scholarship for professional practice. The center’s studies are focused in four key areas: leadership, community engagement and learning; hazing and hazardous drinking prevention; mental and physical health; and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. 

Penn State hopes to generate an endowment of $8 million to support the center’s research. Toward that end, the University has committed $2 million in initial funding and will match up to $3 million in additional endowment funds committed for this purpose. Through this opportunity, organizations, alumni, parents and friends can leverage their gifts to secure matching funds that double the impact of their generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and the goal that students in fraternities and sororities have a safe and enriching college experience, visit the Piazza Center website

This gift 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