Penn State engineering department receives anonymous $2.5 million donation

Penn State’s department of industrial and manufacturing engineering has received a $2.5 million donation that will be used for research on energy and energy policy research, the university announced Thursday.

The money, from anonymous donors, will establish a faculty chair position, which are awarded to very distinguished scholar-educators who are leaders in their fields. The money from the endowment will be made available to the person selected as the faculty chair.

“Having an endowed chair in this area will allow our department to leverage our existing strengths and establish a strong foundation that we can build from to better address energy challenges,” department head Paul Griffin said in a statement.

Griffin said the money will pay for new energy courses and lab equipment, help develop an annual workshop and support student work in the field.

The money is from an alumnus of the department and the alumnus’ wife, but the couple did not want to be identified, Penn State said.

The $2.5 million donation will count toward Penn State’s $2 billion fundraising campaign.