Penn State football isn’t the only one celebrating this weekend. Friday afternoon, Donald Bellisario, alongside 30 of his closest friends and family members, gathered to celebrate the dedication of Penn State’s College of Communications in his name.
Last April, Bellisario donated $30 million to the college that will go primarily toward student scholarships and the renovation of the Willard Building into multimedia studios.
Upon their arrival, the Bellisario family was warmly welcomed by Penn State students and faculty. A formal dedication ceremony was held in Carnegie Cinema, which was packed with esteemed faculty including President Barron, Dean of the College of Communications Marie Hardin, and Sue Paterno.
“Don Bellisario’s gift to the college and to Penn State is a name changer and a game changer,” college dean Marie Hardin said. She knows that the endowment will make the College of Communications even more prominent on a national scale.
President Eric Barron spoke about the longstanding impact Bellisario’s gift will have on the College of Communications and the University. He expressed his sincerest gratitude to the family.
“I just love saying the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications,” Barron said.
The guest of honor, Mr. Bellisario, spoke and was greeted at the podium with a standing ovation. He reminisced about his time as a Penn State student and his military service, giving credit to the university for providing him with a strong foundation to build his career on.
To close, he shared this story: “Towards the end of my senior year [at Penn State], I was holding down a job, my wife was holding down a job, and I still couldn’t make it work. So, I borrowed $600 from the university and stiffed them. I guess this is my payback.”
Students enjoyed refreshments with the Bellisario family and other guests after the ceremony.