A gift from TE Connectivity, a world leader in connectivity, will provide Penn State Harrisburg engineering students in the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology with expanded experiential learning opportunities. The $500,000 gift will create the TE Connectivity Capstone Design Endowment to fund Penn State Harrisburg senior engineering capstone projects as well as create the TE Connectivity Lecture Series in Connector Design, which will provide opportunities for students to network with industry experts.
"TE has long been a partner in education with Penn State, not only at Penn State Harrisburg but throughout the University," Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes said. "This latest support from TE will provide students with opportunities to undertake real-world projects alongside industry leaders, and, in the process, will bring a valuable exchange of ideas and insights to everyone involved."
"TE Connectivity is committed to the development of engineers, especially in the regions where we operate our business, " said Tom Lynch, chairman and chief executive officer, TE Connectivity. "The TE Connectivity Capstone Design Endowment and the TE Connectivity Lecture Series in Connector Design will allow for collaboration between Penn State Harrisburg students and our company's expert leaders. We see the grant and lecture series as an investment from our company to further develop and inspire future engineers."
Penn State Harrisburg senior engineering students are required to complete a capstone project. The culmination of their educational experience, the project combines classroom learning with real-life applications and often involves area industries. The students also formally present their projects publicly at a conference each spring. The TE Connectivity Capstone Design Endowment will provide funds for students to tackle more ambitious projects as well as help fund the annual conference to facilitate the spread of new ideas.
The TE Connectivity Lecture Series in Connector Design will provide a forum to feature industry and higher education speakers on current topics in connector design. The series will provide opportunities for networking and the exchange of information with the goal of inspiring innovation.
"TE Connectivity has been important in helping Penn State Harrisburg grow to serve the needs of the Capital Region, specifically in the engineering sector," Penn State Harrisburg Chancellor Mukund Kulkarni said. "Both facets of this most recent commitment—the Capstone Design Endowment and the lecture series—will provide our students with the skills and experiences to make them not only more marketable graduates but also immediate contributors in the workplace."
"Workforce development is extremely important to the future of Pennsylvania's economy and a key ingredient to a growing and thriving job market that provides good paying jobs," stated Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). "This generous contribution by TE Connectivity demonstrates the best in public-private partnerships and the enormous impact they can have on a community."
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) acknowledged, "The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines are crucial to the Commonwealth's economic growth and prosperity. TE Connectivity's commitment to training our future engineers is to be commended."
The gift caps a longtime relationship between Penn State Harrisburg and the corporation, dating back about thirty years. Currently, TE employs several hundred Penn State alumni.
The gift to create the TE Connectivity Capstone Design Endowment and the TE Connectivity Lecture Series in Connector Design will be formally accepted at an event held on the morning of August 8, 2013, in the Olmsted Building Atrium at Penn State Harrisburg.
TE Connectivity's gift to Penn State Harrisburg will support 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.