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Penn State Football: Program Receives $1.5 Million Gift From Donor

by on June 03, 2014 2:21 PM

Penn State head football coach James Franklin has preached about the importance of keeping facilities up to date and current and it looks like at least one Nittany Lion alum is ready to invest in that belief.

John Leone, a longtime donor has committed to give Penn State $2 million for Intercollegiate Athletics and the College of Arts and Architecture according to a university news release.

The gift will provide $1.5 million to name the John and Willie Leone Family Strength and Conditioning Center in the Lasch Football Building as part of the Football Excellence Fund. The remaining $500,000 will go to increase the Willie Leone Endowed Scholarship Fund in Music Theatre. 

The John and Willie Leone Family Strength and Conditioning Center will provide funding for the Penn State football program. The strength and conditioning facility will be officially named in honor of the gift.

“The Leone family have been long-time partners with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, and John’s recent generosity will ensure our football program can continue to compete with the top programs in the nation,” said athletic director Dave Joyner, “His gift provides a significant vote of confidence in Coach Franklin and his staff and will ensure they have the resources necessary to create a well-rounded program for our football student-athletes.”

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“Penn State fans are legendary for their passion, and John Leone has always been one of the most dedicated supporters of our football program,” Franklin said. “John knows what it takes to build a nationally respected team and to provide our student-athletes with the proper training. I am very grateful to John for his visionary support of our program and our coaching staff.”

Leone is president and chief executive officer of Bonney Forge, with manufacturing operations in Mount Union, Pa., Houston, Texas, Shanghai, China and Bergamo, Italy. Bonney Forge, founded in 1876, is an industry leader in manufacturing and marketing forged steel products.

“Whether you’re in athletics, academics, or business, the key to success is preparation,” Leone said, “and I want to be part of the Coach Franklin’s vision for the program, which emphasizes preparation. We wanted to make a gift that would allow his plans to take a significant step forward."

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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