Russell Horn
Russell Horn
Image: Penn State

Russell E. Horn: a champion for students

Russell E. Horn, a 1933 civil engineering graduate had a lifelong love for Penn State.  This was evident from the time he stepped on campus at University Park in 1929 and through his generous gifts, as recent as his 2012 leadership gift of $1 million to support the construction of a student enrichment center at Penn State Harrisburg.  The $27 million, 58,600-square-foot project which will house offices that provide key services for undergraduate and graduate students that currently are in various locations across campus.

Mr. Horn passed away on December 4.  He was 101.

“The impact that Mr. Horn has had on our campus is unparalleled,” said Dr. Mukund Kulkarni, Penn State Harrisburg chancellor.  “He has been a great benefactor to Penn State Harrisburg academics, students and the entire community.  Because of Mr. Horn’s generosity, the quality and accessibility of a Penn State education has been enhanced.  He will be greatly remembered by all.”

After Depression-era employment with the Pennsylvania Highway Department and as a salesman, Horn served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Later, he joined architect Clair Buchart to form an engineering consulting business in York. He also helped organize Print-O-Stat, an engineering supply and blueprinting firm. The original engineering firm eventually was split and Horn became president and chief engineer of Buchart Horn. He and his business partners also organized a holding company, PACE Resources, to provide various administrative services for Buchart Horn and Print-O-Stat. Under his leadership, PACE has grown into an international organization.

Horn was also the former president of the Penn State Club of York County and was named a University Alumni Fellow and Outstanding Engineering Alumnus by the College of Engineering in 1987.

He was a tireless supporter of academics at Penn State, believing that “education is the key to success.”  The Learning Center at Penn State Harrisburg bears his name.  The center, which offers a range of tutoring services and fosters student collaborations, is one of two areas within the planned student enrichment center for which Horn’s gift provided funding.  The other is a planned spiritual meditation center that will accommodate students’ varied religious practices, to be completed with the rest of the project in 2015.

“The Learning Center is very dear to my heart,” Horn said of his gift in 2012. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the education that I received from Penn State, and I am thrilled to be able to help all students on campus to reach their full potential.

 “I’m really happy that this gift will also provide students on campus a place where they can fulfill their diverse spiritual needs,” Horn added. “Faith is something that means a lot to me, and being able to make the spiritual center possible through my gift is part of who I am.”

Horn also established the Russell E. Horn Trustee Matching Scholarship at Penn State Harrisburg.  To date, more than 125 students at Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State York, and University Park have benefited from scholarships created by Horn.

In 2010, Russell Horn made a major pledge of $100,000 to the Penn State Harrisburg Board of Advisers Endowed Scholarship. Horn was one of many donors to the scholarship.  Since 2010, 39 students have benefitted from this scholarship.

His commitment to Penn State Harrisburg also includes donations for the expansion of the Science and Technology Building in 1997 and to the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology program fund in honor of Dr. Charles A. Cole in 2006. University-wide, the Four Diamonds Fund and the Children’s Miracle Network have been enhanced by his generosity.

While Horn’s generosity has made a great impact on Penn State, he believed that he was the greater beneficiary in that long-lasting relationship. “I have been a Penn State man since I graduated in 1933,” he said in 2012, “and I have received more from Penn State than I have given to them.”

Read more about Russell E. Horn’s generosity here: