New gift will support students in mechanical engineering

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Helen L. Van Pelt, a friend of Penn State, has made an estate commitment in honor of her late husband, Carl Schaukowitch, a 1973 Penn State mechanical engineering alumnus. The funds will establish the Carl Schaukowitch and Helen Van Pelt Scholarship, an endowed undergraduate scholarship in mechanical engineering. 

“The College of Engineering is very thankful for the generosity of Ms. Van Pelt and the wonderful sentiment she has shown in commemorating her late husband,” said Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering. “This financial commitment will help many ambitious students obtain their degrees and continue to impact tomorrow as they enter their careers.”

The Carl Schaukowitch and Helen Van Pelt Scholarship will provide funds for full-time undergraduate students majoring in or planning to major in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering. In honor of Schaukowitch’s alma mater, Sto-Rox High School in McKees Rocks, first preference will be given to students who are also graduates of a high school in Allegheny County. 

“As a scholarship recipient himself, Carl fully appreciated the importance and value of these awards,” Van Pelt said. “The University and the College of Engineering meant a great deal to my husband, and he would be pleased to be able to impact the lives of current mechanical engineering students in this way.”

While at Penn State, Schaukowitch was a member of the football team. After graduating, he continued his football career with the Denver Broncos for four years. 

Schaukowitch went on to attend law school at the University of Denver. He eventually became a patent attorney and partner at the law firm of Fishman Stewart Yamaguchi in Washington, D.C. 

Van Pelt and Schaukowitch were married for 22 years, and, before Schaukowitch’s death in 2015, the couple resided in Mitchellville, Maryland. 

This 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 fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit


Last Updated August 27, 2020