Posted: January 11, 2021

Dr. Glenn Carter and his wife, Doris Longwill Carter, have pledged an estimated $100,000 estate gift in support of the Pasto Agricultural Museum.

Dr. Glenn Carter and Mrs. Doris Longwill Carter

Dr. Glenn Carter and Mrs. Doris Longwill Carter

With the hope of helping Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum grow and ensure its future, Dr. Glenn Carter and his wife, Doris Longwill Carter, have pledged an estimated $100,000 estate gift in support of the museum. The gift from the Carters has been designated for the museum's endowment fund to help support the staff and operations.

Glenn Carter, a native of Washington County, has been a volunteer at the museum for 24 years, having been recruited in his retirement by Jerry Pasto, the late associate dean emeritus and professor emeritus of agricultural economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences, who had taught him in two of his undergraduate courses. Carter holds three degrees from Penn State: a bachelor's in agricultural economics and rural sociology, a master's in agricultural economics and a doctorate in higher education and administration.

“When we moved back [to State College] in 1996, we went to Ag Progress Days for the first time," said Carter. “We walked in, Jerry recognized me and he put his arm around me and said, 'I need you.' I've been volunteering there ever since."

According to Carter, the museum has come a long way since its start in the 1970s with Pasto, who served as volunteer curator from 1978-1998. In a typical year, the museum hosts almost 10,000 visitors, including undergraduate students, interns, and attendees of school field trips, intergenerational family programs and public events. Museum exhibits and programs leverage artifacts — rare and unusual farm and household items dating from 4,000 B.C. to the 1940s — to connect the history and science of agriculture to the present day.

“During my time as a volunteer, the museum has more than doubled in size, and we've come a long way in developing our philosophy," said Carter, who currently serves as chair of the Friends of Pasto Agricultural Museum and is often a tour guide for visitors. “We try to build stories around the equipment, not just show the equipment, but explain how it was used and why, and how agriculture has evolved."

“Glenn has a way about him that truly focuses our corps of volunteers," said Rita Graef, the museum's curator. “He's the first one to put on his painter's pants and dig right into whatever project is at hand, including doing inventory, painting exhibit furniture or even cleaning every single chain link on an antique corn binder. He is wonderful at engaging our visitors, whether they're a third grader from a local school or a senior citizen."

Glenn and Doris, a 1954 graduate in commerce and finance, met at Penn State, at the College Co-op (which no longer exists), where Doris lived with 25 female undergraduate students and a house mother. They provided meals for about 50 male students who lived in nearby boarding houses, one of whom was Glenn.

After Doris graduated, the pair commuted back and forth to Hershey while Glenn finished his degree before marrying in 1956. The Carters then moved to Tioga County, where Glenn worked as an assistant county extension agent before returning to Penn State to pursue his master's degree.

After moving to North Carolina to manage a corporate farm, the Carters returned to Pennsylvania and spent stints at Penn State Greater Allegheny (previously McKeesport) and Penn State Altoona, before coming to State College. Glenn served as the associate dean of undergraduate admissions before being recruited to West Virginia University as director of admissions and records, a post he held until he retired in 1996.

The Carters keep very busy in their retirement with volunteering in various ways. Doris also volunteers with the museum, mainly during the annual Ag Progress Days, and they are both involved at their local church and the retirement community in which they live. In addition, Glenn is active with the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and is currently president of the Penn State Retirees Association.

The Pasto Agricultural Museum holds a special place in the hearts of the Carters. The couple recognizes how valuable a tool it is for extending agricultural literacy, and they appreciate the time they've dedicated to the museum.

“It's important that we can tell later generations how agriculture has evolved and how important it is to understand its history, future and research," said Glenn. “With the amount of time and energy we've put in to making the museum what it is, we want to see it continue to grow and be supported. We hope our gift will be added to the legacy, which came mostly from Jerry Pasto and all the fundraising we did to expand the building. We're hopeful that we can continue to enhance that by having others join us. This is a great example of how people can support the University."

Graef noted that the three biggest challenges for the museum are staffing, space and sustainable funding. “The Carters have helped develop a vision for the museum, and they carry that through their work here," she said. “This future gift from them will not only allow that work to continue, but will ensure it thrives for many years to come."

Visit https://agsci.psu.edu/pasto to learn more about the Pasto Agricultural Museum.

The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences represents the foundation of Penn State and its land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University is pursuing "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a twenty-first-century public university: Open Doors, Create Transformative Experiences, and Impact the World. Through teaching, research, and Extension, and because of generous alumni and friends, the College of Agricultural Sciences is able to offer scholarships to one in four students, create life-shaping opportunities, and make a difference in the world by fueling discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship. To learn more about supporting the college, visit http://agsci.psu.edu/giving. Information about the campaign is available at greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

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