New IST professorship in cybersecurity honors alumnus, late husband

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Through a $1 million gift, Diana L. Tronzo has endowed the Raymond G. Tronzo, MD Professorship in Cybersecurity in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST).

The professorship, which will help the college recruit and retain leading faculty in support of its newly created Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations bachelor’s degree program, is named in honor of Raymond G. Tronzo, Tronzo’s late husband and a Penn State alumnus. The professorship is the third established in IST, and the first created for the college since 1999.

“Raymond always had an attachment to Penn State because that’s what he felt got him started with his entire career,” said Tronzo, a retired certified public accountant and Florida State alumna who now resides in West Palm Beach, Florida. “He had such an affinity for the University — what it stands for and the quality of academics — and thought the College of IST was very forward-thinking. Now that he’s no longer with us, I wanted to do something to honor his name and career.”

Income generated from the endowment will deliver critical funding for the faculty member to advance research projects, develop new courses and teaching methods, and participation in professional conferences to strengthen the University’s presence in the academic community.

“We are grateful to Diana for choosing to support Penn State and the College of IST with this incredibly generous gift,” said O. Richard Bundy III, vice president for development and alumni relations. “This professorship is a fitting recognition of Raymond and Diana’s long-standing commitment to our University; it will have a powerful impact as we seek to achieve our vision to create A Greater Penn State.”

Raymond, who passed away in 2015, is widely regarded as a pioneer in the development of the total hip joint replacement surgery. The Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, native received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Penn State in the early 1950s, later serving in the Air Force for two years as a Medical Service Corps officer during the Korean War. Upon earning his medical degree from Jefferson Medical University in 1957, he held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Miami Medical College before serving as a private practitioner of orthopedic surgery in West Palm Beach, Florida, until his retirement.

“Dr. Tronzo’s legacy of innovation and ingenuity will live on through Diana’s generous gift,” said Andrew Sears, dean of the College of IST. “This professorship will allow the college to attract world-class faculty to the benefit of our students, positioning Penn State at the forefront of cybersecurity education and research.”

The Tronzos have been frequent supporters of both Penn State and the College of IST. In 1999, they made the inaugural gift to support the construction of a building to house the then-School of Information Sciences and Technology, a facility now known as the Westgate Building. They later created the Raymond G. and Diana L. Tronzo Medical Informatics Endowment in the College of IST to further academic research in the field.

“Raymond loved computers,” added Tronzo. “He had one of the very first personal computers with the amber screen and a dot matrix printer. So when the college was founded in the late 1990s, my husband just thought IST would be a very special place to support.”

Gifts from Penn State’s alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the door to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu

Last Updated September 12, 2017