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College of Medicine dean makes leadership gift, issues scholarship challenge

Dr. Karen Kim, who began her tenure as dean of Penn State College of Medicine in September 2023, has committed to giving $250,000 over the next five years to bolster medical student scholarships and to challenge alumni, friends, faculty and staff to follow her lead. She is joined in her philanthropy by her husband, Dr. Randy Chang, an anesthesiologist with Penn State Health Medical Group.

“I believe that enriching scholarship resources is vital to the college’s continuing excellence and the success of our medical students, who will shape the future of health care,” said Kim. “Our gift is intended to affirm that belief.”

With $50,000, Kim and Chang are establishing the Dean Karen Kim, MD Scholarship to benefit medical students. The remaining $200,000 will serve as a first-come, first-served challenge gift.

“Karen and Randy have both distinguished themselves as medical professionals, as Penn Staters, and as leaders within the College of Medicine and Penn State Health. This gift reflects their generosity and Dr. Kim’s leadership as dean of the College of Medicine, through which they aim to inspire fellow donors, alumni and friends to embrace their vision for medical student support,” said Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi. “The success of our students is at the forefront of every decision at our University, and this commitment from Dean Kim and Dr. Chang will offer critical support for our medical students to help them achieve academic, professional, and lifelong success. I thank both Karen and Randy for their generosity and their continued leadership in our medical and health enterprise.”

Every new endowed medical student scholarship fund established with a minimum gift commitment of $50,000 by the end of 2024 (up to 15 new funds) will be early activated with dollars from Kim and Chang’s $200,000 challenge pool. Donors may make pledge payments on their new scholarship for up to five years. The challenge gift will allow the College of Medicine to award a $2,500 scholarship annually for those five years in the name of the donor’s future endowed fund while their endowment is being fully funded, invested and begins to grow.

“The quality of our health care depends on the investment we make in students. We must commit to removing financial barriers to our students’ success by growing our scholarship resources,” said Kim, who is also the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Rural Health Research at Penn State College of Medicine and physician-in-chief for Penn State and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “Throughout my career, I have witnessed the power of people’s generosity, and I have always believed that philanthropic support is key to an organization’s success. Randy and I are honored to help support our dedicated medical students in this way and eager to challenge others to join us!”

Those interested in learning more about the scholarship early activation opportunity can contact the College of Medicine development team at 717-531-8497.

Gifts advance the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve and lead. Through philanthropy, alumni, faculty and friends are helping students to join the Penn State family and prepare for lifelong success; driving research, outreach and economic development that grow our shared strength and readiness for the future; and increasing the University’s impact for families, patients, and communities across the Commonwealth and around the world. Learn more by visiting

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