New scholarship to support biological engineering students

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A Penn State alumnus and his wife have endowed a new scholarship in support of students in the College of Agricultural Sciences with demonstrated need.

Wayne and Marian Martenas, of Lititz, Pa., provided a $50,000 gift to create the Martenas Family Trustee Scholarship. First preference for funds will go to students majoring in Biological Engineering.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. For Trustee Scholarships created through the end of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students on June 30, Penn State will provide an annual 10 percent match of the total pledge or gift.

This level is an increase from the program's original match of 5 percent, and it is available only for new endowments of $50,000 or more. The University match, which is approximately double the endowment's annual spendable income, continues in perpetuity, multiplying the support available for students with financial need.

"We appreciate the opportunity to provide support for deserving students in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State," the donors said in a statement. "Our educational opportunities have had a major impact on our lives, and we hope that this support will in a small way provide those same opportunities to future students."

Wayne Martenas grew up on a farm near Bloomsburg, Pa. He attended classes at Penn State Hazleton before graduating from University Park with a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering.

He held several positions during a long career at Case New Holland, working in company offices in Belgium, England, Canada, Chicago and Lancaster. He retired from the company as vice president of facilities and security.

Martenas holds 17 U.S. and four European patents. In 2008, he received the Sid Olsen Engineering Executive of the Year Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers. In 2010, he was the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award at Penn State.

Martenas serves as a board member of the Penn State Agricultural Council and as president of the Lancaster County Cooperative Extension Association board of directors.

Marian Martenas earned a bachelor's degree from State University of New York at Cortland, a master's degree from Middlebury College and a juris doctorate from Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle. The couple has two children: Michael Martenas, a current Penn State student, and Katherine Brosnan, a Penn State alumna with a bachelor's degree in nutrition.

The Martenas' gift will help the College of Agricultural Sciences 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.

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Last Updated June 17, 2014