New scholarship honors Forest Resources Director Strauss

July 22, 2008

University Park, Pa. -- A new Trustee Scholarship to assist students in Penn State's School of Forest Resources will honor the school's retiring director, Charles H. Strauss.

Patricia Kocjancic of Kane and her family have committed $50,000 to endow the award.

"Our family has been connected with the forestry industry for many years, and Chuck Strauss has earned our admiration and respect," Kocjancic said. "We decided to establish this scholarship as a way of honoring him and, at the same time, helping to make sure that students who want to make forestry their career have the means to do so."

Patricia Kocjancic and her late husband, Edward F. Kocjancic, a 1954 Penn State graduate in forestry, were principals in the family's consulting firm, Edward F. Kocjancic Inc., which has been providing forest management assistance to landowners for 40 years. Their eldest son, Edward S. Kocjancic, who graduated from Penn State with degrees in forestry and business management, is now the firm's president.

Strauss has been a faculty member of the School of Forest Resources since 1961, three years after he earned his bachelor's degree from the University, and also holds master's and doctoral degrees from Penn State. He became director of the school in 2001. He is widely recognized for his studies on forest economics, including the economic impact of recreation and tourism within the context of forests as natural resources.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program is designed to keep a Penn State education accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their financial means. The program has a unique matching component -- the University matches 5 percent of the principal of each gift annually and combines these funds with income from the endowment to effectively double the financial impact of the scholarship. Implemented in 2002 upon approval by Penn State's Board of Trustees, the program assisted approximately 4,400 students University-wide last year.

The Kocjancic family's previous philanthropy to Penn State includes a major gift to support construction of the Forest Resources Building, opened in 2006, at the University Park campus.

The School of Forest Resources carries out a mission of education, research, and outreach in forest science, wildlife and fisheries science, and wood products. It has about 40 faculty members, and 335 undergraduate and graduate students.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009