Story of Fund
Thomas Bodnar and Dr. Ed Gill met as members of the same Phi Kappa Theta pledge class in the spring of 1980. They became fast friends and remained close brothers throughout their lives. While Ed was completing medical school, Tom often provided much needed housing. When Tom married Heather, Ed served as his Best Man. Ed was also honored to be named Godfather of Tom and Heather's daughter, Katie.
In November of 2012, pancreatic cancer claimed Ed's life, but not his spirit. Ed left many friends and family, as his career in medicine and his life were centered on helping others. Ed’s gentle kindness was his lasting legacy. The loss of that kindness was felt throughout the Penn State Community.
In February of 2015, Tom was diagnosed with liver cancer. Although he fought with the courage and tenacity of a warrior, Tom passed away in July of 2015. Tom was the mortar that held Phi Kappa Theta Alumnus together for over a 30 year period with his informative, well written, and humorous newsletters. Tom was the internet for hundreds of alumnus years before the World Wide Web existed. He helped Phi Kappa Theta survive during the fraternity’s toughest years. His love for Penn State and Phi Kappa Theta was only surpassed by his love of his wife, Heather, and his children, Ben and Katie.
The loss of two close friends had an impact on hundreds of families and friends. In honor of their memories and brotherhood to each other, the Bodnar-Gill Memorial Scholarship Fund was formed. Through this fund, two best friends and their values of kindness, fraternity, family, and service to others will be memorialized with scholarships to future Penn State students.