Penn State Altoona to hold naming contest for new entrepreneurial building

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - 2543 hits

ALTOONA — In the first contest of its kind at Penn State Altoona, all students are invited to submit names to be considered for the Sheetz Entrepreneurship Building, which will open its doors in fall 2011. The contest and rules will be announced to students during a noon, Sheetz-catered luncheon, Tuesday, September 28, in the Slep Student Center.

A $3 million gift from Steve and Nancy Sheetz helped purchase and renovate the former Myer Jonasson building in downtown Altoona which will be home to the entrepreneurial center. It will support academic research, education, and community engagement in entrepreneurship. It will also serve as the home for the Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) organization.

Steve and Nancy care deeply about students and feel that the creation of such a center will provide an important educational opportunity that otherwise doesn't exist in the region. The couple wanted student involvement throughout the transformation process of the building, and the idea of offering a naming contest came about toward the end of the spring 2010 semester. Modeled after a similar contest at University Park, all Penn State Altoona students will be able to submit their ideas for the building name online. The contest will last approximately one month. A committee will review the submissions, and the top five finalists will have a private dinner with Steve and Nancy at which the couple will announce their choice. The winner will receive a $500 Sheetz gift card and a high-end electronic device. The other four finalists will each get a $100 Sheetz gift card.

Of the contest, Instructor in Entrepreneurship Donna Bon says, "This is a monumental opportunity for our students. For them to have input on the building's name is such a gift from Steve and Nancy. I don't have enough wonderful things to say about them — they really care about the students and Penn State Altoona."

Steve Sheetz is chairman of the board of Sheetz, Inc., an Altoona-based, convenience-store chain. He and Nancy have significant and long-standing personal and professional ties to Altoona and the greater Blair County region. Over the years, the couple has supported numerous philanthropic initiatives at Penn State Altoona. With Sheetz, Inc., they created the Sheetz Family Endowed Scholarship and Sheetz Visiting Lecture Program. Their gifts have helped to fund construction of the Advanced Technology Center and Community Arts Center and benefited the intercollegiate athletics program, Penn State Altoona Future Fund, and William J. Rossman Renaissance Scholarship.

More information about the contest and the Sheetz Building can be found at online.

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Media contact:
Marissa Carney, Media Relations Coordinator, University Relations 814-949-5105

Web Contact:
Jonathan O'Harrow, Webmaster, University Relations 814-949-5105

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