Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Tracy and Ted McCourtney

Tracy and Ted McCourtney

McCourtney's Profile Image
Tracy and Ted McCourtney

Tracy and Ted McCourtney provided the transformative $3 million gift that will enable the Institute to pursue excellence and leadership in advancing the cause of democracy.

After her graduation from Penn State, Tracy assisted foster children and families in New York City as a social worker. A 1960 Notre Dame engineering graduate, Ted served four years in the U.S. Navy and then earned a master of business administration degree from Harvard in 1966. For 30 years, he was a general partner at Venrock, a pioneering venture capital fund in emerging technologies and health care. Now an independent investor, Ted served on Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees and remains an emeritus trustee. 

The McCourtney’s philanthropy at the University of Notre Dame and Penn State has had a lasting impact on students and faculty at both schools. Their four children are involved in careers in social services, education, and business, as well.

Over the years, the McCourtneys endowed three undergraduate scholarships, which have helped more than 350 liberal arts students; fellowships and scholarships for graduate students in social sciences and humanities; and faculty professorships in psychology, sociology and American history. The couple also provided critical support for the Moore Building renovation and addition that is benefiting psychology faculty and students; a lead gift to a graduate endowment; and a fund for the Career Enrichment Network to help students land their first job or succeed in professional or advanced studies after graduation.