UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A graduate of meteorology and his wife recently pledged $250,000 to the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ Department of Meteorology to support faculty contributions to teaching, research and public service. The couple, who wishes to remain anonymous, created this endowment to focus specifically on weather forecasting and communications.
“This endowment will provide state-of-the-art educational experiences for our students in weather analysis and forecasting,” said Bill Easterling, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. “The objective of the endowment is to educate and develop future leaders in the U.S. weather and climate enterprise. This objective directly complements the goal of the college’s new Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk.”
“Applying weather and climate information to decision-making is becoming increasingly important for our economy and society,” stated Bill Brune, head of the Department of Meteorology. “To prepare our students for emerging careers in weather and climate risk, we must expand our program in risk while staying on the cutting-edge in forecasting and communications. This endowment will help to keep Penn State Meteorology at the forefront of weather and climate forecasting and communications education and research opportunities.”
These funds will be used to create a robust and exceptional educational environment for meteorology students by establishing an outreach effort with the U.S. weather and climate industry. Faculty will be able to enhance their research efforts, expand curricula for students, and encourage extracurricular activities in weather analysis and forecasting.
“We want our student to not only understand climate and climate change; more importantly we want them to have the skills and tools to advise their employer about the best course of action to minimize any weather and climate-related risk,” said David Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. “This endowment will provide us with the support we need to give Penn State’s meteorology department a competitive advantage.”
The couple’s gift will contribute to For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, a University-wide fundraising effort directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State's alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University's tradition of quality. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State's history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.