Alumnus provides support to encourage student collaboration and success

July 06, 2021

A Penn State alumnus who built a long, respected and varied communications career with daily displays of collaboration, mentoring and leadership has provided a commitment to the University that will encourage students to hone their skills in their areas for years to come.

Warren Carmichael made a $35,000 gift to create the Warren Carmichael Teams Space inside the Bellisario Media Center on the University Park campus. The space is designed to enable students to easily collaborate on projects and share feedback and insights with each other — an iterative process that often leads to success in communications endeavors.

“Obviously in communications, collaboration is important and one of the things I’ve long noted over the years is that communicators sometimes have difficulty communicating with each other,” Carmichael said. “The idea of having a space where students can spend time to collaborate is important. It will help improve the quality of their projects.

“The complete transformation of the Bellisario College and the accompanying upgrades are very important. I wanted to be a part of that and show my support. By sponsoring the room, I was able to contribute to help future educational efforts.”

Carmichael, who earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism in 1958, when he was just 19 years old, started his career in radio broadcasting. He worked at a radio station in State College for three years and at a station in Fairfax, Virginia, for 13 years. As an active-duty member of the Army after graduation, he also served four years in the National Security Agency.

Carmichael’s enthusiasm for mentoring and teaching, as well as his professionalism and talent were on display later in his career, when he served for 23 years as the director of public information for the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia. He earned the county’s highest award for employees for his work and was honored in 2002 by a Resolution of Commendation by the Virginia General Assembly. In 2001, he was presented with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Award for outstanding contributions to law enforcement.

He wrote the first ever Law Enforcement Freedom of Information Guide for Virginia, volunteered as a public information adviser to the City of Fairfax Police Department and was a national instructor for the Columbia School of Broadcasting. For five years, Carmichael was also a principal in an advertising/public relations agency.

“Warren knows the importance of quality communications, and his gift supports the development of necessary skills among our students,” said Dean Marie Hardin of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. “With all his experience and expertise, as well as the universal respect he has earned from his colleagues, there is no one better than Warren to make this kind of gift. We sincerely appreciate his support, and we know it will make a positive impact on our students.”

A previous endowment from Carmichael established the Warren R. Carmichael Media and Justice Program in the Bellisario College. He served four terms on the Alumni Society Board and spent six years as officer and director of the Washington Metro chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association.

The gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit

  • Warren Carmichael headshot

    Warren Carmichael, who earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural journalism in 1958, when he was just 19 years old, said he was happy to provide a gift that he hopes will encourage and impact Penn State students for years to come.

    IMAGE: Photo Provided
Last Updated July 29, 2021