Posted: March 8, 2022

Frank and Janet Glasgow Dudek update estate, early activate two scholarships

Frank and Janet Glasgow Dudek, longtime supporters of Penn State’s colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Earth and Mineral Sciences, have expanded their prior support for graduate and undergraduate students. The couple has updated their estate plan, pledging an additional $2.3 million for a total of $4.8 million, and will give $125,000 over five years for the early activation of two awards included in their future commitment.

The Frank and Janet Dudek Graduate Endowment in Food Science will provide financial assistance for graduate students studying food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences to attend conferences to network and share their research findings. The Frank and Janet Dudek Energy Business and Finance Scholarship will benefit full-time undergraduate students planning to major in energy business and finance in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) who have demonstrated financial need.

This gift marks the couple’s third pledge to early activate areas of their 2011 estate commitment, and the Dudeks are excited to see their philanthropic plans come to life.

“We’ve met a number of the students who have benefited from our giving through the years,” said Janet. “The letters we receive are quite nice, and we greatly appreciate it. Since our previous early activation commitment has been completed, it makes sense to early activate additional programs, an option that benefits the colleges and their students.”

Janet, who holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from what is now the Eberly College of Science and a master’s degree in animal nutrition from the College of Agricultural Sciences, is a pharmaceutical consultant and understands some of the challenges graduate students face when pursuing their degrees, which inspired her desire to create the graduate award in food science.

“It’s important for graduate students to present their research and network with other scientists,” said Janet. “This endowment will make money available to help graduate students attend conferences and present their papers or posters. In addition, there is always new technology coming along, and it can be very expensive to keep up. They need to be able to utilize the latest equipment and know the latest techniques when it comes time to get a job. Those are the two things I wanted to focus on with this endowment.”

The Dudeks have been strong supporters of the Department of Food Science for many years, noted Bob Roberts, professor and head of food science. “Their support has rewarded excellence in graduate students, allowed the department to keep equipment in the teaching laboratories up to date and provided flexible funding to support new initiatives,” he said. “We greatly appreciate their ongoing generosity.”

As a former pilot for American Airlines who used to burn 17 gallons of fuel a minute at cruising altitude, Frank Dudek knows the importance of energy and of finding more sustainable ways of harvesting it. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in mineral economics from EMS, and he sees the college’s interdisciplinary approach to solving global energy challenges as the best way forward.

Achieving a sustainable energy future, he said, will rely on advancing research and educational efforts like those afforded through the Dudeks’ contributions to scholarships, endowments and research.

“I didn’t feel that students who are dedicated to solving the climate crisis by searching for alternative and enhanced energy sources should have to take on a lot of debt in the process,” Frank said. “That was my motivation for giving.”

The couple’s estate contributions to EMS include funds to create a graduate fellowship in fuel science, as well as four undergraduate scholarships and an endowment to provide research and program support in the college. Additional funding for EMS will be earmarked for research and laboratory equipment.

An additional bequest to the Institutes of Energy and the Environment will be used to encourage cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary energy and environmental research and to engage local, state, federal and international partners in research efforts.

“Our college has students and faculty who excel in a variety of intertwining areas such as energy, economics, earth, materials and atmospheric science, which makes us uniquely suited to solving our energy challenges,” said Lee Kump, John Leone Dean in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. “Contributions like those from the Dudeks allow us to remain at the cutting-edge of sustainable solutions to these challenges.”

Gifts to the Penn State 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 serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

Office of Development

Address

240 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802