University Park, Pennsylvania – Peter and Angela Dal Pizzo believe that engineers make great entrepreneurs. This personal principle motivated the couple to contribute to the expansion of the College of Engineering’s western campus. Their $500,000 gift will name the Entrepreneurship Office Suite and Conference Room in West 2 Building, scheduled to open in 2023.
“Engineers need an entrepreneurial mindset because they have great ideas,” said Peter, a 1968 industrial engineering graduate. “If they believe in themselves, they can achieve great things.”
Peter and Angela’s gift will support the activities of the West 2 Engineering Entrepreneurship Program. This program is open to students from many disciplines interested in developing an entrepreneurial mindset and creating innovative products, services, and businesses.
“An entrepreneurial education is an ideal complement to an engineer’s curriculum because it helps them successfully pitch their ideas for support, both to the investor and to management,” said Ted Greve, Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship. “This presentation ability combined with background knowledge and understanding of their audience’s motivations contribute to their success.”
The Entrepreneurship Pavilion will provide an avenue for students to connect with other students and faculty to build on and implement their entrepreneurial minds. Along with other facilities at West 2, including the Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory and several manufacturing venues, the pavilion will help create a permanent center for engineering entrepreneurship, in-house entrepreneurship, and innovation at West Campus.
Timothy W. said. Technology and Professional Programs and Paul Morrow Professor of Engineering Design and Manufacturing. “It also creates a home in the new building for students of all disciplines to interact with engineering students to help bring their ideas – and new projects – to life.”
The $500,000 gift follows other gifts made by Dal Pezzos to the College of Engineering, including a $100,000 commitment to the Global Manufacturing and Service Lab at the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, a $150,000 scholarship to benefit industrial engineering students And a $3 million gift for an industrial engineering chair. For each of Dal Pezzos’ gifts, the role that Peter’s Penn State education and experience have played in his career has been a catalyst.
“I wanted to give back because my engineering degree from Pennsylvania helped me get to where I was,” said Peter, who received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award — the highest honor bestowed upon alumni by a college of engineering — in 2003.
Originally from Allentown, Peter graduated from Pennsylvania and joined Bethlehem Steel, where he worked for 16 years. He later moved to various positions at Pelco, a global security technology company, before retiring as Vice President of Corporate Ventures.
“The engineering degree at Penn State is very entrepreneurial and encourages free thinking,” Peter said. “My entrepreneurial training was vital to me because, along with my colleagues, I started Pelco from nothing and helped it grow – to over a billion dollars in sales.”
During his career, Peter earned a master’s degree in finance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Received the Alumni Fellow Award, the most prestigious award given by the Pennsylvania State Alumni Association, in 2013.
Angela, originally from Switzerland, holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in International Relations from Fresno State University. I worked for Pelco as Director of International Marketing. Before coming to the United States, Angela competed as a professional skydiver, earning a national rating.
With this new gift of West 2 space, Dal Pezzos aims to help not only support the physical expansion of the West Campus but also expand its influence.
“The new equipment, classrooms, offices and buildings will attract more students, faculty and staff,” Angela said. “Times have changed, and the architecture in Pennsylvania is changing with the times.”
Gifts to the College of Engineering in the Western Campus Expansion will advance “Greater Pennsylvania for Excellence in the Twenty-first Century,” a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s standing as a leading public university in a world of rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, Greater Pennsylvania strives to meet the three basic requirements of a twenty-first century public university: keep the doors of higher education open to hard-working students regardless of financial well-being; Creating transformative experiences that transcend the classroom; and influence the world by serving societies and promoting discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “Greater Pennstate of Excellence in the Twenty-first Century,” visit larger pennstate.psu.edu.