First Students Welcomed to Sheetz Fellows Program

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. Chairman Steve Sheetz and his wife Nancy welcomed the inaugural nine students selected for the Sheetz Fellows Program at a dinner held on Oct. 26, according to a Penn State Altoona report. The event, which took place at the university's downtown Aaron Building, was intended to build personal relationships between the family and the students, who will participate in special lessons and projects as they build both their leadership and business skills.

"The dinner afforded a great opportunity for our students to connect with Steve and Nancy, and to share their dreams and aspirations," said Donna Bon, director of Penn State Altoona's Entrepreneurship Program and executive director of the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. "Steve and Nancy talked about the importance of giving back to the community and shared examples of their own community service. The discussion made an impact on our students, and the interaction throughout the entire evening was very meaningful."

The couple created the Fellows Program with a $3 million gift that was also used to purchase and renovate a building that became The Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, which opened last August, as CSNews Online previously reported. At the welcome dinner, the couple gifted each student with a copy of Steve Jobs' recently released biography.

Students can identify as "aspirants" for the program during their first two years and declare an Entrepreneurship concentration or Entrepreneurship minor, according to the report. They may apply during their sophomore year and formally enroll in the program at the beginning of their junior year.

To remain in the program, students must meet established academic standards and complete a study abroad experience, credit-bearing internship, ethics course, one-year community service commitment and self-sponsored research or creative project. They will also receive a one-time maximum stipend of $2,500 from the Sheetz Endowment Fund and be mentored by Steve Sheetz and other business leaders.

"Nan and I always enjoy interacting with students, and these are students very driven to succeed," said Steve Sheetz. "They had lots of great questions for both of us, and our time together passed very quickly. It was a truly enjoyable dinner for both of us, and we walked away feeling very good about our interactions with the students, and feeling good about our involvement with the Sheetz Fellows Program."