Ivy Leaf - Winter 2008

Thoughts from the Chancellor

Dear Alumni and Friends,


The story of Penn State Altoona is one of tremendous pride for the people of Altoona and Blair County. It is a story of commitment of individuals to make life better for others. It is a history of community support that has brought together people from every walk of life in a spirit of giving. Aside from family, the most meaningful thing in my life has been being a part of Penn State Altoona’s rich history.

My husband, Tim Wherry, and I share a love for this community and this college. Thus, it is only fitting that one of the first acts of our commitment to each other reflects our commitment to Penn State Altoona.

On February 2, 2008, the groundhog saw his shadow, Tim and I recited our wedding vows, and our philanthropy was recognized with the dedication of the Timothy L. Wherry and Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry Study in the Eiche Library. We are honored to join the countless other individuals who have provided philanthropic support for this college.

It is appropriate for us to name this study as we met in the library; it also has been Tim’s long-time vision to enclose the portico to create a beautiful study area. Thus, our gift is the perfect match for our beliefs and values, and it represents our commitment to our college, this community, and to each other.

Everyday, I witness the philanthropic acts of others—our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community. Whether it be the giving of their time, talents, or resources, so many selflessly act to make our college, our community, and our world a better place in which to live and learn.

As you peruse this issue of Ivy Leaf, you will quickly understand what I mean. From the numerous community service activities of our students, featured on page 18, and the philanthropic gift toward our Visual Art Studies program featured on page 5, to the work by our faculty both locally and globally, featured on pages 3 and 5 regarding the HUD COPC grant and Save Darfur efforts, it is readily apparent that Penn State Altoona is making a difference in our world.

The True Meaning of Dedication

Penn State Altoona recognized the philanthropy of Timothy L. Wherry and Dr. Lori J. Bechtel during the dedication of the Robert E. Eiche Library study in their honor on February 2, 2008.

Wherry and Bechtel accepted a naming opportunity for the study by presenting a leadership gift to Penn State Altoona. The naming and dedication of the study is a tribute to their distinguished service and devotion to Penn State Altoona, as well as the lasting influence they have had on the local community.

Bechtel holds the distinction of being Penn State Altoona’s first female professor, first female associate dean for academic affairs, and first female chancellor. Bechtel has been a faculty member at Penn State Altoona since 1985 and is a member of the graduate faculty at Penn State. Wherry has served as head librarian since he began his tenure at Penn State Altoona in 1990.

As volunteers in numerous non-profit organizations and participants in countless community service programs and projects, Wherry and Bechtel have had defining roles in creating a culture of caring in Blair County.