Posted: December 17, 2021

Peter and Ann Tombros have created the Peter and Ann Tombros Dean’s Chair in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

As part of their new $26 million commitment to the University, longtime philanthropic and volunteer leaders Peter and Ann Tombros have created the Peter and Ann Tombros Dean’s Chair in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The chair, one of only six named dean’s chairs at the University, will provide flexible funding for the college’s leader.

“I am deeply thankful for the support and commitment that Peter and Ann have shown to the college for many years, but especially with their decision to create a named dean’s chair for this college,” said Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Through this gift, they have built upon their extraordinary history of support for the agricultural sciences at Penn State. It’s especially meaningful to receive this support for our college leadership from two leaders who have done so much for Penn State. I am honored by their belief in our potential for future impact in education and research.”

The Tombroses have been dedicated supporters of the College of Agricultural Sciences for many years. Peter is a 1964 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences and industries, and he also earned his master’s in agricultural economics from the college in 1968.

“The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences played an important role in my academic and professional career,” said Peter Tombros. “We have been and continue to be proud to support the college. We saw this as another opportunity to make a positive impact, not only for Dean Roush, but for all future leaders of the college. We hope this endowment will ensure the college’s leadership can continue to guide the college successfully for decades to come.”

The Tombroses have contributed to numerous areas within the college. Most notably, they created the Tombros Early Career Professorship. Other areas where they have been key contributors include, but are not limited to, the Keeney Food Science Department Head Excellence Fund; the Josephson Food Science Club Endowment; Ag Conference Sponsors; agronomy and turfgrass; the college’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund; and the Forest Resources Research Fund.

“The gifts the Tombroses have given through the years have been enormously beneficial,” said Roush. “The professorship has been fantastic at helping us recruit and retain faculty members. In addition, beyond allowing us to help students in ways we wouldn’t otherwise be able to, the financial support represents consistent and repeated encouragement of the work we’re doing.”

The College of Agricultural Sciences is now part of a small group of six colleges at the University with named dean’s chairs. These include the College of The Liberal Arts, the College of Engineering, the Eberly College of Science, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Health and Human Development. Within the Big Ten, where 10 of the 14 member schools have land-grant agricultural colleges or programs, the College of Agricultural Sciences joins Purdue’s College of Agriculture as the only two schools with named dean’s chairs.

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 Information about the campaign is available at

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