UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- David Hall, dean of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), says he feels indebted to Penn State for the opportunities it has provided him, and would like to show that appreciation by easing the financial burdens of future IST students. To solidify that commitment, he recently finalized the documentation for an estate gift of $50,000 for the David L. Hall Scholarship in IST.
“Penn State has been very good to me,” Hall said. “IST has been very good to me. I’m kind of paying a karmic debt.”
The $50,000 that Hall has pledged will be incorporated in his will, and will be dispersed as an endowment. The funds will be available to any undergraduate student in the College of IST.
The scholarship that Hall has established is in line with the goals of an ambitious campaign by the University to keep a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students 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 goal of the For the Future campaign is to secure $2 billion by 2014.
Hall’s own educational background has enabled him to pursue an illustrious career in academia. He earned doctorate and master's in astronomy and astrophysics from Penn State and a bachelor of arts in physics and math from the University of Iowa. In addition to serving as dean, Hall is also a professor in the College of IST, where he leads the Center for Network Centric Cognition and Information Fusion. He joined IST from the University's Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), where he served as associate director and senior scientist. Hall has more than 25 years of experience in research, research management and systems development. He is the author of more than 200 papers, reports, books and book chapters, and he has delivered numerous lectures on his research, research management and artificial intelligence.
Hall says that he understands from personal experience the difference that a scholarship can make for a college student. As an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa in the mid-1960s, a scholarship helped him complete his education.
“I always sort of felt like I should pay it forward,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to give a gift to the future and help IST students.”