Couple creates undergraduate scholarship in materials science and engineering

April 01, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A $100,000 gift from Ron and Carolyn Latanision will endow a new undergraduate scholarship in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The Ronald and Carolyn Latanision Trustee Scholarship will provide financial support to undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

“My Penn State education provided the foundation for my career. Receiving financial support as a student made an enormous difference for me, and my wife, Carolyn, and I wanted to give back to help more Penn State students,” said Ron Latanision.

“We’re deeply grateful for Ron and Carolyn’s generosity. This new scholarship will allow us to further support the increasing number of young people seeking a degree in materials science and engineering,” said Gary Messing, distinguished professor of ceramics and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

A native of Richmondale (located near Scranton), Ron Latanision received a bachelor’s degree in metallurgy from Penn State in 1964 and was the recipient of Penn State’s Alcoa Scholarship. After graduating, he obtained a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from Ohio State. He spent nearly 30 years as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holding joint appointments with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Department of Nuclear Engineering. His research focused on materials processing and the corrosion of metals in service environments. He is a member of the International Corrosion Council and serves as co-editor of Corrosion Reviews as well as editor-in-chief of the National Academy of Engineering’s quarterly publication, The Bridge.

Throughout his career, Ron Latanision made a significant impact by providing insight and expert analysis to politicians. He served as science adviser to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology and served as a member of the National Materials Advisory Board of the National Research Council (NRC) and currently is a member of the NRC’s Standing Committee on Chemical Demilitarization. He has also served two four-year terms on the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.

Ron Latanision is now serving as senior fellow at Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting group. His wife, Carolyn, is an artist. They live in Winchester, Massachusetts, and have two children and five grandchildren.

Penn State’s Trustee Matching Scholarship program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. The University match, which is approximately double the endowment’s annual spendable income, continues in perpetuity, multiplying the support available for students with financial need.

Penn State's alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University's land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom; expand the research and teaching capacity of our faculty; enhance the University's ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty; and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The University's colleges and campuses continue to enlist the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives. 

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Last Updated April 02, 2015