Faculty and staff giving boosts programs in College of Ag Sciences

March 30, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- Faculty and staff in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have made financial commitments that will strengthen programs and benefit students in the college. 

The gifts come on the eve of the kick-off of the public phase of the University's capital campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, scheduled for the weekend of April 23-25 at University Park.
"The timing of these commitments could not be better," said John Romano, volunteer chair of the faculty and staff giving component of the For the Future campaign. "They are marvelous examples of giving back by our own faculty and staff -- people who see Penn State's needs first hand -- and will surely inspire alumni and friends to participate in the campaign."
James and Linda Finley, of State College, have pledged $200,000 to the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards Endowment, which supports a program that trains volunteers in the principles of forest stewardship so they can share that knowledge with forest landowners throughout the state (http://paforeststewards.cas.psu.edu). The gift is part of the couple's estate plans.
James Finley, a professor of forest resources, received his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the University in 1970, 1975, and 1991 respectively. He joined the faculty in 1975 as an extension educator, and was instrumental in developing the guidelines for the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards Endowment, a critical philanthropic tool that helps to sustain the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards Volunteer Program. 
Linda Finley joined the Pennsylvania Forestry Association to learn about the stewardship of her own land, and in 1996 she was elected the organization’s first female president. She completed training as a Pennsylvania Forest Steward in 1993 and participates in many programs associated with forestry in the state.
Robert and Catherine Shannon, of State College, have made a $20,000 pledge to establish the Robert and Catherine Shannon Scholarship in Environmental Resource Management. This scholarship will support undergraduates at the University Park campus who have at least a fifth-semester standing and are majoring in environmental resource management.
Rob Shannon is an associate professor of agricultural engineering and coordinator of the Environmental Resource Management Program. He graduated from the University in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in environmental resource management. He received a master's degree in environmental science and engineering from Virginia Tech in 1988 and a doctorate in environmental science from Indiana University in 1993. He joined the Penn State faculty in 1995.
Catherine Shannon, director of business and finance for Penn State Business and Auxiliary Services, received a bachelor's degree from Elmira College in 1978 and went on to earn an M.B.A. from Penn State in 1980.
Albert and Ellen Jarrett, of State College, have pledged $50,000 to establish the Albert and Ellen Jarrett Scholarship to assist outstanding undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, with preference going to students in the natural resources engineering option.
Albert Jarrett, a professor of agricultural engineering, earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University in 1968, 1970 and 1975 respectively. He started his career in 1969 at the Mont Alto Campus and in 1975 became an assistant professor in agricultural engineering. In 2003 Penn State recognized his dedication to teaching with the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Ellen Jarrett, homemaker and Meals-on-Wheels volunteer, received a bachelor’s degree from Lebanon Valley College in 1967.
The nine-member team in the College of Agricultural Sciences' development office has pledged a minimum of $1,000 per year for the next 5 years to establish a student award to honor and recognize undergraduates who have exhibited qualities of volunteerism and philanthropy.
“Collectively, we felt it was important to lead by example and give back to the University while investing in the students of the college,” said Mark Sharer, director of development.  “Since we're going to ask our colleagues, alumni and friends to be philanthropic and support what they are most passionate about in the college, we decided to do the same.”



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Last Updated April 05, 2010