Sheetz Fellows Program Welcomes Third Class

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Twelve new students joined the Sheetz Fellows Program at Penn State Altoona. This is the third class to be inducted into the program, which was founded by Steve Sheetz, family council chairman of convenience store chain Sheetz Inc.

The program focuses on advanced instruction and activities that promote an enhanced awareness and understanding of business theory and practice.

The newest Sheetz Fellows were inducted during a special ceremony in the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence at Penn State Altoona on Feb. 22. All the inductees are business majors pursuing a course of study in entrepreneurship, according to the university.

"It is my belief -- and a Sheetz practice -- that business should represent more than a money-making enterprise. There should be a higher purpose," said Steve Sheetz, a 1969 Penn State graduate and former Penn State Altoona student. "Our company's long history of charitable endeavors is not only beneficial for those we support, it is personally rewarding for our employees."

The Sheetz Fellows Program was established as part of a historic gift presented to Penn State Altoona by Steve and Nancy Sheetz in 2009.

Established academic standards must be met to maintain status within the program. Other requirements include completion of a study abroad experience, credit-bearing internship, self-sponsored research or creative project, and an ethics course. The mentoring component of the Sheetz Fellows Program pairs seniors with selected professionals who offer guidance and insights divined throughout their careers as successful business executives and entrepreneurs.

"This practice of giving back is incorporated into the requirements of the Sheetz Fellows Program. Sheetz Fellows are expected to complete a one-year community service commitment. My wife Nan and I are especially proud of that," Steve Sheetz said. "Our own lives have been enriched in countless ways through service, and we anticipate that this service commitment will rank among the most valuable experiences of your undergraduate career."

All students graduating with the status of a Sheetz Fellow receive special recognition at commencement.

"The academic culture at Penn State Altoona has been enriched, and the prospects of our region enhanced, because Steve and Nancy Sheetz care deeply about students and the community in which they were raised," said Chancellor and Dean Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry. "They embrace the promise that higher education offers for not only individual growth and discovery, but societal enrichment and progress. I congratulate each of our Sheetz Fellows for pursuing this extraordinary opportunity and express best wishes for continued academic success."

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