$1 million Lucas gift endows industrial engineering professorship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A $1 million gift from Tom Lucas, an industrial engineering alumnus, and his wife, Nicki, will create the Lucas Professorship in Industrial Engineering.

“This generous endowment from Tom and Nicki gives us the opportunity to attract a pre-eminent faculty member to our department,” said Paul Griffin, Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo Department Head Chair. “Adding a faculty member of this caliber will not only leverage the existing strengths of the department, but it will also provide resources for current and prospective graduate students.”

An endowed professorship supplements departmental support for outstanding faculty and provides the professor with the resources necessary to continue and further the scholar’s contributions to teaching, research and public service.

Tom Lucas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1976 and holds an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. After graduating from Penn State, he had a successful career in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry. He co-founded Alliance Medical Products in 2001 and retired after he and his partner sold the company last year. He was named an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus in 2010, and he held a position on the department’s Industrial and Professional Advisory Council.  

The Lucases reside in Trabuco Canyon, Calif. They enjoy ballroom dancing and are currently raising their 20th puppy that will become a trained service dog for children with disabilities.

Their gift will help the College of Engineering to achieve the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America.

The University is engaging Penn State’s alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University’s tradition of quality.

The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.

Contacts: 
Last Updated April 25, 2013