Penn State Harrisburg receives $1M gift from engineering graduate

August 06, 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg has received a leadership gift commitment of $1 million from Russell E. Horn Sr., a 1933 Penn State graduate in engineering, to support the construction of a Student Enrichment Center on the Harrisburg campus. The new facility will centralize and enhance a variety of crucial student services.

“This remarkable gift will go far toward helping Penn State Harrisburg meet the needs of our rapidly growing student population,” said Chancellor Mukund Kulkarni. “The Student Enrichment Center will create a one-stop resource center that lets students more easily access the services that enhance all aspects of their learning. We’re extremely grateful for Mr. Horn’s generosity in making the first gift toward this major effort.”

The Student Enrichment Center will bring together under one roof many key services that undergraduate and graduate students need to access regularly, but which currently are housed in various locations across campus. The Horn gift will fund two areas within the Student Enrichment Center: the Learning Center, which offers a range of tutoring services and fosters student collaborations; and the Spiritual Meditation Center, a nondenominational space that will accommodate students’ varied religious practices.

In addition, the new facility will house offices for student advising, counseling and disability services, honors education, and international study programs. The Student Enrichment Center will raise the visibility and accessibility of these offices and will facilitate collaboration among them.

“I have always believed that education is the key to success, so the Learning Center is very dear to my heart,” said Horn, who celebrated his 100th birthday in May. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the education that I received from Penn State, and I am thrilled to be able to help all students on campus to reach their full potential.

“I’m really happy that this gift will also provide students on campus a place where they can fulfill their diverse spiritual needs,” Horn added. “Faith is something that means a lot to me, and being able to make the spiritual center possible through my gift is part of who I am.”

Horn is the founder and retired chairman of PACE Resources, Inc., based in York, Pa., whose most prominent subsidiary is the successful engineering and architectural firm Buchart Horn, Inc. Horn and his company have previously established scholarships at Penn State Harrisburg and have supported an expansion of the campus’ Environmental Science Building, and he has taken an active role in advising and mentoring engineering students.

“Mr. Horn has been a great benefactor to Penn State Harrisburg for many years,” said Madlyn L. Hanes, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and most recent past chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg. “His latest gift is another excellent example of how philanthropy can have an enormous positive impact on Penn State’s students. The continued success of the University’s current fundraising effort, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, depends upon alumni and friends sharing his belief in the importance of Penn State’s educational mission and the power of private giving to enhance the quality and accessibility of a Penn State education.”

Yet for all the impact he has had on the University, Horn believes he is the greater beneficiary in that long-lasting relationship. “I have been a Penn State man since I graduated in 1933,” he said, “and I have received more from Penn State than I have given to them.”

Horn’s latest gift will help Penn State Harrisburg to reach the goals of the For the Future campaign, a University-wide effort directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The campaign is engaging 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. For the Future is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.

  • Russell E. Horn Sr., a 1933 Penn State graduate in engineering

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 13, 2012