Gift to Support Penn State Ag Programs

1/4/2014 7:00 AM

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Programs that develop and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will receive a boost as a result of a gift from an alumnus of the college and his wife.

William and Margaret Donley of Pittsburgh targeted their $50,000 gift to an existing endowment that provides programmatic support for the college’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

This initiative includes entrepreneurship-focused classes, the Ag Business Springboard undergraduate student competition and the Research Applications for Innovation grant program for faculty.

Proceeds from the endowment can be used to cover expenses related to scholarly activities for faculty and students, staff support, travel and other needs.

“Bill and Maggie’s gift provides essential support for our program,” said Harbaugh entrepreneurship scholar Mark Gagnon, who oversees the entrepreneurship and innovation initiative. “Their generosity will help us to engage and empower students and faculty to move forward with their own entrepreneurial journeys.”

With the world becoming a more fast paced, competitive and complicated place, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program is a timely and critically initiative, William Donley said.

“Maggie and I have both benefited from our Penn State experiences, and we feel strongly that this support will help the College of Agricultural Sciences remain a world-class institution for generations to come,” he said.

William Donley graduated from the College of Agricultural Sciences in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in forest science before earning a master’s of business administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s executive MBA program. He had a 31-year career in senior management with extensive experience in global materials and services businesses.

He is the chairman of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program advisory board and serves as a judge for the Ag Business Springboard student competition.

Margaret Donley is a 1979 Penn State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in German and a minor in international business.

Source: Penn State Ag Sciences News.

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