penn state

Donations to aid Penn State football, music theater

From CDT staff reportsJune 3, 2014 

Penn State has received a $2 million donation to support the football program and music theater, the university said Tuesday.

Alumnus and longtime donor John Leone, who has been giving to the university since 1984, committed the money.

Of the gift, $1.5 million will provide funding for the Penn State football program. The strength and conditioning facility in the Lasch Football Building will be renamed the John and Willie Leone Family Strength and Conditioning Center in honor of the gift, the university statement said.

The remaining $500,000 will add to the endowment for the Willie Leone Endowed Scholarship Fund in Music Theater, which was created in 1998 for students majoring in musical theater who are particularly talented in the area of dance.

John Leone, who graduted from Penn State in 1956, is president and CEO of Bonney Forge, which manufactures and markets forged steel pieces and specialty engineered products.

“Whether you’re in athletics, academics or business, the key to success is preparation,” Leone said in a statement, “and I want to be part of Coach Franklin’s vision for the program, which emphasizes preparation. We wanted to make a gift that would allow his plans to take a significant step forward.

“I also wanted to add to Willie’s scholarship in musical theater to build on the foundation she started and ensure the program would benefit many more students like the ones she adored,” he continued. “With her passing, I thought it was a meaningful way to honor her and show our gratitude to Penn State.”

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