McFarlane gives $1 million to materials science and engineering

July 23, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- A $1 million commitment from the estate of Cathleen McFarlane-Ross, longtime friend of Penn State, will establish two endowments to benefit students and faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. McFarlane-Ross's gift honors her late husband, industrialist Norris “Mac” McFarlane, who graduated from Penn State in 1934 with a bachelor of science degree in metallurgy.

After holding executive positions with Pittsburgh Metallurgical Co. and Airo Inc., Norris MacFarlane served as president and owner of Macalloy Corp. in Charleston, S.C., the nation's largest ferrochrome producer. He received many awards during his lifetime, including the David Ford McFarland Award for Achievement in Metallurgy from Penn State in 1990.

Cathleen MacFarlane was an advocate for the homeless and hungry.  She founded St. Ann Place, a center in West Palm Beach, Fla., where the homeless can receive mail, make telephone calls, shower and get a lunch.

Her gift creates:

  • The Norris B. McFarlane Faculty Career Development Professorship in Materials Science and Engineering, which will provide critical financial support to junior faculty members beginning their careers. The fund will allow young faculty to direct initial energies to the classroom, provide start-up funds for new areas of research and teaching laboratories, and offer early recognition for outstanding accomplishments.
  • The Norris B. McFarlane Scholarship Fund, which will assist undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in materials science and engineering.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 29, 2010