Donald P. Bellisario, a director, producer and screenwriter made a commitment to $30 million to Penn State University. He is an alumnus of the university.
Bellisario is known for creating blockbuster television series including NCIS, Magnum PI, Quantum Leap, Airwolf, and JAG. He received the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe writing award for his work and has been nominated to Emmys multiple times. He was awarded Producer of the Year by the Caucus for Producers, Writers, and Directors in 2001. He was also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004
The donation from Bellisario and wife Vivienne is the fifth largest in the history of the university. It will be used to support communications students through a scholarship fund with first preference given to undergraduates who U.S. military veterans, active-duty service members, reservists, and members of the National Guard. The university will also use his gift to build a state-of-the-art media center, which will be named after him.
Penn State renames College of Communications after Bellisario
The Board of Trustees also decided to rename the university’s College of Communications after Bellisario in recognition to his contribution.
In a statement, Penn State President Eric Barron said, “Donald P. Bellisario ranks among Penn State’s most accomplished alumni, and his achievements and generosity will continue to inspire our students and faculty for generations to come. Through this historic gift, the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications will have the resources to support future media pioneers as they pursue the same innovation, excellence and integrity that have characterized Don’s own career.”
Barron added that the Bellisario Scholarship Fund combined with an investment by the university will allow countless students to follow his steps. In 2006, Bellisario and his wife donated $1 million to the scholarship fund and continued to support it over the years.
“The success Don Bellisario has achieved makes all of us aspire to be greater ourselves. And the investment that he has already made in our college and our students has helped inspire a vision that this unprecedented gift will empower us to fulfill,” said Dean Marie Hardin.
“It is an honor to give my support and name to the College of Communications. Under the guidance of Dean Marie Hardin, these new facilities, faculty chairs and student scholarships will assure there is no limit to what future graduates of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications can achieve,” said Bellisario
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