UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has named alumnus, philanthropist and volunteer leader James Ingram as its 2018 Fundraising Volunteer of the Year. The award, which recognizes an individual, couple or group who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and leadership in building philanthropic support for the University, was presented to Ingram at a ceremony held at The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel on Oct. 12.
“This award recognizes Jim’s exceptional service to the University – and particularly to our commonwealth campuses,” said Rick Sokolov, chair of Penn State’s current fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.” “Jim’s perspective as a corporate leader has been invaluable to our fundraising efforts, and his passion and pride for this University has inspired many others to join him in supporting our great institution.”
Ingram is president of Bartlett Tree Experts, a Connecticut-based tree care company with 142 offices in four countries. He holds two degrees from Penn State: an associate’s degree in forest technology from Penn State Mont Alto (1979) and a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture from the College of Agricultural Sciences (1983).
During the “Greater Penn State” campaign, Ingram is leading the fundraising efforts of Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses as a member of the Campaign Executive Committee and chair of commonwealth campus campaigns. To date, the 15 campuses Jim oversees have collectively raised more than $42 million, helping the University as a whole to raise more than $836 million—or more than half of its overall goal.
“Jim’s quiet leadership and constant support are invaluable to our 15 campus development committees,” said E. Lee Beard, a fellow member of the Campaign Executive Committee. “Campus leaders, staff and volunteers look to Jim for ideas, feedback, encouragement and support. He is a key link to the University’s overall campaign and is able to connect these campuses in ways that are invaluable.”
Ingram’s volunteer leadership began with the University’s most recent campaign, “For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.” He served as campaign chair for Mont Alto and led the campus in raising $5.4 million, exceeding its $5 million goal.
In addition to inspiring significant support from his fellow Penn Staters, Ingram has led by example with gifts of his own, made together with his wife, Barbara. The couple’s support has created the Jack Ingram Endowed Scholarship at Mont Alto, named for Jim’s late father; supported the renovation of the Lasch Football Building; enhanced the arboretum at the Mont Alto and University Park campuses; named the Bartlett Tree Test Plot at Mont Alto; and more. In 2016, the Ingrams made commitments to all 15 of the campuses Jim oversees to support their efforts in the “Greater Penn State” campaign.
Jim and Barbara Ingram reside in Westport, Connecticut, and have two adult children, Jack and Sage, both of whom were present at the Oct. 12 awards ceremony along with many other Ingram family members.
“I accept this award for the spirit of volunteerism that is alive in all Penn Staters, and that makes Penn State the best place to help students who have financial needs to attain a world-class education,” said Ingram. “I shall always treasure this Volunteer of the Year Award. Life is a long lesson in humility, and this honor humbles me to my core.”
Jim Ingram’s volunteer leadership 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 21-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 fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit http://greaterpennstate.psu.edu.