FirstEnergy Foundation funds E-Knowledge Commons lobby
The FirstEnergy Foundation has contributed $75,000 to support the construction of a lobby area within the new E-Knowledge Commons in the mechanical and nuclear engineering department.
The E-Knowledge Commons project will provide a student-centered space designed for peer-to-peer learning in Reber Building. The space will give mechanical and nuclear engineering students a place to work in teams across a variety of study spaces, while having easy access to technology and other resources.
“The FirstEnergy Foundation is proud to provide support to the E-Knowledge Commons campaign, and very pleased to be the naming sponsor of the lobby,” said Dee Lowery, president of the FirstEnergy Foundation. “Our long-standing relationship with Penn State has been a tremendous asset to our company, and with the University’s goal to be one of the nation’s top energy schools, this is a perfect fit for us.”
The E-Knowledge Commons will be equipped with individual and group study areas to foster collaboration as well as private meeting rooms outfitted with state-of-the-art computer and video conferencing systems to enhance global interactions and learning. The space will also have two computer labs, laptop plug-in stations and modular furniture that can be moved to create an open space for lectures and other events.
“The goal of this project is to create a sense of community among mechanical and nuclear engineering students and to provide space for our over one thousand juniors and seniors to work together,” said Karen Thole, professor and department head of mechanical and nuclear engineering. “We are honored that the FirstEnergy Foundation has partnered with Penn State to provide this collaborative space for our students.”
The estimated cost of the project is $1.5 million. If you are interested in supporting the E-Knowledge Commons, visit the project’s website for more information and naming opportunities. Your support will help to give students easy access to cutting-edge technology as well as an inspiring space to meet, study and learn.
This generous gift towards the E-Knowledge Commons represents the FirstEnergy Foundation’s continued support of Penn State and the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. FirstEnergy’s utilities serve Penn State’s University Park campus as well as 10 Commonwealth campuses. The company employs thousands of mechanical and nuclear engineers including more than 600 Penn State graduates in its six-state service area. Additionally this year the FirstEnergy Foundation is providing funds for a dinner at Penn State in April to honor Donald Moul, Penn State alumnus and senior vice president of fossil operations and environmental for FirstEnergy. Moul is receiving the College of Engineering Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award.
Penn State’s alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University’s land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom; expand the research and teaching capacity of our faculty; enhance the University’s ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty; and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The University’s colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.