Penn State: Barrons make gift for scholarships, Arboretum

Penn State President Eric Barron and his wife, Molly, are giving $200,000 to the university to establish scholarships in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and to benefit The Arboretum at Penn State.

The Barrons’ two scholarships, the Jim and “Mel” Barron Trustee Scholarship and the Walin and Dorothy Hatter Trustee Scholarship, are named for the couple’s parents. The Barrons gave $150,000 to establish the scholarships, which will be awarded to students with financial need in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the university said in a statement.

Barron is a former dean of the college and returned to Penn State in May to become its 18th president.

William Easterling, who succeeded Barron as dean, said the college is grateful for both scholarships.

“Their investment in education will help make a Penn State education accessible to all qualified students regardless of their financial means,” Easterling said. “Their gifts are yet another example of their commitment to Penn State, EMS and our students.”

The Barrons also gave $50,000 to name the Bedrock Boulders collection in the Children’s Garden at the arboretum. The collection will feature naturally weathered boulders, collected locally and arranged to depict the valleys, ridges and land formations of central Pennsylvania’s landscape, the statement said.

“Philanthropy is one of the main reasons why Penn State is such a great institution, and we thought it was only right to build upon this tradition when we returned,” Barron said. “Molly and I are both keenly interested in ensuring that education is accessible. The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the Arboretum serve as great starting points to promote accessibility and for the many other ways we hope to make an impact at this university in the future.”