Alumni, faculty crowdfund meteorology and atmospheric science scholarship

Meteorology students observe the weather wall, located on the sixth floor of Walker Building in the Joel N. Myers Weather Center. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — More than a dozen faculty and alumni of Penn State’s Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science have come together with gifts totaling more than $100,000 to create a new scholarship — called the Meteorology Alumni and Faculty Trustee Scholarship — that will begin benefiting undergraduate students this fall. The department continues to accept contributions from alumni and friends to grow the fund. All donations to the fund received before Dec. 1, 2016, will receive a 5 percent University match in perpetuity.

The idea for the scholarship originated during a conversation between John A. Dutton, dean emeritus of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and professor emeritus of meteorology, and Ray Ban, retired executive vice president of programming, operations and meteorology at the Weather Channel and guest lecturer in the department.

Dutton emphasized the need to continue to attract high-caliber meteorology students.

“Our department is well-known for its eminence, power and influence in the profession of meteorology,” said Dutton. “So it’s important that we continue to financially support future generations of Penn State students to ensure the continued success of the department.

Dutton and Ban teamed with other alumni to encourage contributions to the scholarship. They were also aided by major contributions from faculty, such as David Stensrud, department head and professor, and David Titley, retired rear admiral, professor of practice and founding director of Penn State’s Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk.

“I was very impressed with the alumni and faculty members who reached out to me to start this scholarship,” said Stensrud. “We’re very appreciative of everyone who has helped make this possible and we encourage others to donate to the fund. Any amount is important and will help students pursue a Penn State education.”

Ban’s fond memories of his time as a Penn State student encouraged him to give back.

“Much of my success and so many of my relationships relate back to my experiences at Penn State,” said Ban. “So it’s important to me to help other students not only come to a school like this but also understand the importance of creating that lifelong relationship with the University and sharing it with others.”

To donate to the Meteorology Alumni and Faculty Trustee Scholarship, visit or contact Carol Packard, director of development and alumni relations, at or 814-863-4673.

About Penn State’s Trustee Matching Scholarship (TMS) Program: The TMS program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. For Trustee Scholarships created through Dec. 1, 2016, Penn State will match the annual award from the fund by 5 percent each year. The University match, which nearly doubles 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 are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.

Last Updated September 12, 2016