First Class of Sheetz Fellows Inducted at Penn State Altoona

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First Class of Sheetz Fellows Inducted at Penn State Altoona


ALTOONA, Pa. -- Penn State Altoona inducted the inaugural class of Sheetz Fellows during a recent ceremony. Program co-founder and benefactor Steve Sheetz gave welcoming remarks, along with Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry, according to a Penn State Altoona report.

"Today, your primary goals relate to academic achievement. Upon graduation, that focus will shift. As Penn State Altoona alumni, your concerns will turn from group projects and grades to innovative business plans and profit margins," said Sheetz, chairman of the Sheetz convenience store chain, based in Altoona. "But Nan and I invite you to always consider how best to leave an indelible imprint on society beyond the success you experience in business. It is never too early to contemplate what you want your legacy to be."

Sheetz and his wife Nancy launched the Sheetz Fellows Program with a $3-million gift to the university in 2009. Program members must meet established academic standards and complete a study abroad experience, credit-bearing internship, ethics course, one-year community service commitment, and a self-sponsored research or creative project. As seniors, the Sheetz Fellows will be paired with successful business executives and entrepreneurs who will serve as mentors.

The eight students chosen for the program are Donald Cella, James L. Coonan, Tyler Grazier, Jennifer Gummo, Christa Hetrick, Jayme D. Hileman, Daniel B. Kennedy and D. Cody Stitt. Upon graduation, they will receive special recognition for attaining the status of a Sheetz Fellow.

"The lives of Steve and Nancy, and their longstanding devotion to our college through service, leadership and giving are powerful examples to all students, alumni, and friends of Penn State Altoona," Bechtel-Wherry said during the ceremony. "The Sheetz Fellows program will empower our students with the skills necessary to achieve personal and societal goals. I commend each of our students for pursuing this extraordinary opportunity to participate in advanced instruction and activities that will promote an enhanced awareness and understanding of business theory and practice."