Campus hosts Board of Trustees' summer meeting

July 02, 2009

Coming on the heels of its 50th anniversary celebration, Penn State New Kensington will host the University's Board of Trustees for its summer meeting, July 10-11, at on-campus and off-campus sites. The Board, which meets six times a year, will hold its regular July public meeting Friday, July 10 in the campus Conference Center.

The meeting agenda includes a report by University President Graham Spanier and an informational report by Penn State New Kensington Chancellor Kevin Snider on the activities and achievements of people on campus as well as his vision for the campus' future.

New Kensington will welcome the Trustees to the Pittsburgh area with a dinner on Thursday at the Oakmont Country Club. Guest speakers include President Spanier; James Broadhurst, chairman of Eat n’ Park Hospitality Group and chair of the Board of Trustees; and Kevin Snider, who will serve as master of ceremonies for more than 150 invited guests.

Each summer, the Trustees meet at one of Penn State's 24 campuses. This will be Spanier's second trip to the New Kensington within 10 months. Spanier helped to commemorate the 50th anniversary in October 2008 by meeting with students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors and introducing cellist Kim Cook, who debuted as the inaugural Penn State Laureate.

In conjunction with the Board of Trustees visit, artifacts from the Alcoa Collection at the Senator John Heinz History Center are on display July 6 - 20 in the campus art gallery. The full collection at the History Center traces some of the different uses for aluminum. Alcoa promoted sales by experimenting with various aluminum products, including a dress designed by Oscar de la Renta. Other disparate artifacts, such a violin, playing cards and a set of combs, are a part of the campus exhibit.

Complementing the Alcoa exhibit are aluminum artifacts from collections of the Northern Westmoreland Foundation and Alle-Kiski Valley Heritage Museum. The items were originally a part of the 3,000-piece Bonatti Collection.

For nearly 40 years, Marilyn Sullivan Bonatti collected an assortment of Alcoa product lines, including Kensington Ware and WearEver. Manufactured in the city of New Kensington, the birthplace of the aluminum industry, the items have been displayed nationwide, most recently in 2001 at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Mrs. Bonatti currently resides in Florida with her husband, William.

The Heritage Museum, located in Tarentum, is operated under the auspices of the Alle-Kiski Valley Historical Society. The society’s mission is to preserve and celebrate the history of the region that shaped the worldwide growth of light metal technology.

The Northern Westmoreland Foundation was founded by Elizabeth Blissell, who was one of the community leaders who petitioned Penn State to establish a campus in New Kensington. The campus library is named in her honor. Headquartered in New Kensington, the Foundation focuses on education and economic development of the region.

Alcoa and Penn State New Kensington have a long history of collaboration. In 1963, the company donated land to Penn State, and three years later, the present Upper Burrell campus opened on the 35-acre parcel. Since then, Alcoa and Penn State have worked together on numerous initiatives, such as scholarships, the virtual nature trail, "green chemistry" and service projects that have benefitted the campus and the community.

Gifts from Alcoa to the campus have continued throughout the years. In addition to the original 35 acres, Alcoa donated the arch that stands atop the hill overlooking the main entrance to campus. Designed by Henry Noestheden, the aluminum arch has been a campus landmark since 1976.


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Last Updated July 02, 2009