-Penn State students majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education will get first preference to receive a new endowed scholarship created in memory of a College of Agricultural Sciences alumnus.
With a $50,000 gift, Mary Pruss, of Washington, Pa., established the Stanley and Mary Pruss Trustee Scholarship to honor the memory of her husband, Stanley, who died in August 2012. Stanley Pruss earned two degrees from the college: a bachelor's in Agricultural Education in 1961 and a master's in Agronomy in 1963.
As part of the Trustee Matching Scholarship Program, Penn State will make annual additions to the endowment equal to 10 percent of the initial principal. The University also will match at 10 percent any additional contributions made to the fund. The Pruss Trustee Scholarship will assist students at Penn State with the greatest financial need.
"Stan put himself through college at Penn State and had to take on several jobs to pay for it," said Mary Pruss. "I would like this scholarship to help alleviate financial hardship for a student like him."
After graduating from Penn State, Stanley Pruss worked as an educator for Penn State Extension in Butler County before joining Baugh Chemical Co. in Cambridge, Md. He later held positions with Geigy Chemical in Shawsville, Va., and Harrison, N.Y., becoming Northeast Agricultural Research Manager in 1968. He oversaw the move of the regional office to Washington, Pa., in 1974.
He was active in the Weed Science Society of America and was a member of the society's board of directors. In 1992, he was president of the Northeastern Weed Science Society. He retired to the family farm, where he grew Christmas trees, pick-your-own fruit and sweet corn.
Mary Pruss graduated from the College of Science at Penn State in 1963 with a degree in Medical Technology. She received her Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University in 1980. She retired in 2009 after 22 years as an attorney with the firm Peacock Keller. Previously, she served as an assistant district attorney in Greene County for seven years.
Two of the couple's four children are Penn State graduates -- one from the College of Agricultural Sciences.
This gift will help the College of Agricultural Sciences to achieve the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort is 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 campaign's top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. 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.