Penn State's turfgrass science program has received a $40,000 grant from The Toro Co. to support student activities, along with product donations that include an aerator and other Toro equipment valued at about $25,000. Toro's cash grant will help give student teams the opportunity to travel and compete in two major turfgrass events. The new aerator will be used for demonstration and instructional purposes.
Penn State alumnus and fund-raising volunteer Earl K. Harbaugh and his wife, Kay Harbaugh, have given $250,000 to create the Harbaugh Endowment for Entrepreneurship in the College of Agricultural Sciences. The endowment will fund the Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Forum, which will bring successful entrepreneur leaders to the University to meet with students and faculty and to participate in a biannual lecture series focusing on current and future opportunities for national and international economic investment and growth in the food and fiber business sector.
Many Penn State alumni, after years of establishing themselves in their careers and their lives, give back to help young students with their college costs. Benjamin Cordivano has given back, but with a difference: At age 24, he has endowed a student award, only two years after graduating from the University.
A new Trustee Scholarship to assist students in Penn State's School of Forest Resources will honor the school's retiring director, Charles H. Strauss. Patricia Kocjancic, of Kane, and her family have committed $50,000 to endow the award. "Our family has been connected with the forestry industry for many years, and Chuck Strauss has earned our admiration and respect," Kocjancic said. "We decided to establish this scholarship as a way of honoring him and, at the same time, helping to make sure that students who want to make forestry their career have the means to do so."
Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Outreach programs will benefit from $550,000 in gift commitments made by University trustee and agribusiness leader Keith W. Eckel. Eckel has given $50,000 to establish the Eckel Family Trustee Scholarship, which will support undergraduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences who have financial need. First preference will be given to students who are present or past members of Pennsylvania 4-H, a youth development program of Penn State Cooperative Extension. In addition, Eckel plans to endow Penn State Outreach programs in rural leadership and 4-H leadership with an estate gift of $500,000.