UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State community is mourning the loss of Philip Keeney, professor emeritus of food science, who died Oct. 17 at the age of 95.
Intimately linked with the Department of Food Science from the time he helped to establish it in 1975, Keeney perhaps was best known for his research and teaching related to ice cream. Once called the "Emperor of Ice Cream" by People magazine, he was director of the Penn State Ice Cream Short Course from 1955 until his retirement in 1985. The short course, which expanded during Keeney's tenure, attracts ice cream professionals from all over the United States and from many foreign countries. Until recently, he continued to help teach the course every year.
Throughout his career, he also was involved with the direction of Penn State's Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the nation. Keeney Beany, a chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks and vanilla bean, was named for him and is part of the creamery's "hall of fame" lineup of flavors.
"Although already retired from the University, Phil welcomed me to the department and organized a lunch during my first week at Penn State in 1991 — he was just that kind of person,” said Bob Roberts, professor and head of food science. "As I have noted in the past, it would be difficult to overstate the impact that Phil Keeney had on the Food Science Department's faculty, staff, students and alumni. He will be sorely missed."