Harbaughs give $250,000 to create entrepreneurship lecture forum

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State alumnus and fundraising 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.

The endowment also will provide support for curriculum, program and course development and educational initiatives with a focus on fostering students' entrepreneurship and leadership skills.

Earl K. Harbaugh earned his bachelor's degree in general agriculture from Penn State in 1961. An entrepreneur himself, he is the founder and president of four Illinois companies: Ditch Witch Midwest, which provides products, services and training for the underground construction industry; Rentals Plus, an underground construction equipment rental business; and generator and power services rental companies Illini Power and Gen Power.

Harbaugh recently was named chair of the College of Agricultural Sciences' development council for the University's fundraising campaign -- For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students -- which is currently in its leadership gifts phase. He also has served on several previous college fundraising advisory committees.

Philanthropy to the college by the couple includes two scholarships and a teaching excellence fund. Both Pennsylvania natives, the Harbaughs live in St. Charles, Ill.

Endowed gifts provide perpetual funding. The University invests such gifts and uses a portion of the annual income for the purposes designated by the donor. Remaining income is returned to the principal to protect it from inflation and ensure future growth.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009