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Landscape Architecture alumnus creates family scholarship fund

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Kauffman 2019

Kim Kauffman (’81 B.S. LArch) has made a significant financial contribution to the College of Arts and Architecture to establish the Kauffman Family Scholarship Fund in the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Available to full-time Landscape Architecture undergraduate students from Pennsylvania, with preference given to those from Kauffman’s home area of Snyder County, the gift will aid students who demonstrate a financial need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses.

Growing up in central Pennsylvania, Kauffman was determined to attend Penn State and when he received his acceptance letter in 1976 his Penn State story began. Upon graduation, he worked at landscape architecture firms in Ohio and Philadelphia, both with Penn State ties. But during those years he was drawn to the south and in 1984 permanently moved to Greenville, South Carolina.

Shortly after relocating, he co-founded Freeland & Kauffman Inc., a civil engineering and landscape architecture firm based in Greenville that focuses on commercial development, engineering and design. Licensed in 35 states, the firm has developed a deep customer base and has perhaps most notably designed a combination of just less than 700 Wal-Mart and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores across the country.

With Greenville firmly established as his home, Kauffman and his wife raised four children over the past two decades and while none of them attended Penn State, he always made sure to stay connected to the University, which he is quick to point out developed a foundation for his success.

The gift is the second Kauffman has made to his Alma Matter. In 2003 he named a critique space in the newly constructed Stuckeman Family Building in honor of his father, Russell Kauffman. A plaque adorning the space, which has benefited countless architecture students, along with the newly established scholarship fund creates a permanent mark for the Kauffman family at Penn State.

“I’m a big believer in expressing gratitude for things that have helped me to have success in life,” Kauffman said. “Penn State was the start of this whole thing and if I can give back to the university and help to relieve some of the financial burden for students trying to get a world-class education, I can’t think of a better way to say thank you.”

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 fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit