The recent spat of big donations to Penn State continued today, as the university announced alumnus John Leone will gift it $2 million for football and the College of Arts and Architecture.
$1.5 million of the gift will name the Lasch Football Building’s strength and conditioning center after John and Willie Leone, and the other $500,000 will establish the Willie Leone Endowed Scholarship Fund in Music Theatre.
“Penn State fans are legendary for their passion, and John Leone has always been one of the most dedicated supporters of our football program,” James Franklin said in the press release. “John knows what it takes to build a nationally respected team and to provide our student-athletes with the proper training. I am very grateful to John for his visionary support of our program and our coaching staff.”
Leone is president and CEO of Bonney Forge, based out of Mt. Union. He graduated from Penn State’s petroleum and natural gas engineering program in 1956, and has been a longtime donor to the university, starting donations in 1984 to petroleum and natural gas engineering funds.
“Whether you’re in athletics, academics, or business, the key to success is preparation,” Leone said, “and I want to be part of the 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.”
Last week, the Alumni Association received its biggest gift ever, $1 million for the Lion Ambassadors, and a $7 million scholarship fund was established for Philadelphia-area students.
“The Leone family have been long-time partners with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, and John’s recent generosity will ensure our football program can continue to compete with the top programs in the nation,” said Dave Joyner in the press release. “His gift provides a significant vote of confidence in Coach Franklin and his staff and will ensure they have the resources necessary to create a well-rounded program for our football student-athletes.”