New endowed scholarship at Purdue University Northwest honors Lake Station couple • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

New endowed scholarship at Purdue University Northwest honors Lake Station couple

Frank and Helen Korpak
Frank and Helen Korpak

Lake Station high school students graduating in 2022 and planning to further their education, may want to consider Purdue University Northwest.

The college announced a new endowed scholarship was created to benefit graduates of Thomas A. Edison Jr. Sr. High School in Lake Station. The first scholarship will be awarded this fall with the incoming freshman class.

The Helen and Frank Korpak Memorial Scholarship was established by Dr. Jorge and Nancy Benavente and Lillian Gaskill in honor of the Korpaks of Lake Station. The gift honors Nancy Benavente’s parents and Gaskill’s sister.

“With this scholarship we’d like to encourage students who graduate from Edison Jr. Sr. High School to further their education at Purdue Northwest,” said Nancy Benavente. “We’d also like to give people who previously graduated from Edison the opportunity to further their education.”

PNW Chancellor Thomas Keon said the university is grateful for the gift.

“The gift from the Benaventes and Ms. Gaskill will open a world of opportunities for the scholarship recipients, many of whom will be first-generation college students and will benefit greatly from their generosity,” he said.

Helen Korpak was one of the first female principals for a secondary school in Indiana and the first female principal in Lake Station. Helen graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and began her career as a teacher.

Over the years, she taught classes in health and safety and English before becoming a guidance counselor. Helen graduated from PNW in 1972 with a master’s degree in educational studies.

“My mother wanted to further her education,” Nancy Benavente said. “She returned to school, received a master’s degree and eventually became a school administrator.”

Frank Korpak spent 25 years with the Hobart City School System where he was employed in the maintenance department.

Two students will be selected to receive the scholarship annually, with the possibility of increasing the number of recipients as the endowment grows. To be eligible, candidates must be graduates of Thomas A. Edison Jr. Sr. High School, with applicants demonstrating the greatest financial need being given priority. Students can apply for the scholarship through the PNW scholarship website at


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