In 1973, Pegula earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Penn State. He formed his company 10 years later. Pegula was born and raised in Carbondale, Pa., and now lives with his wife in Boca Raton, Fla.
“We want to share our success with the people of Pennsylvania and with the very institution that helped me obtain the tools to launch my career in the oil and natural gas industry,” Pegula said in a statement.
Pegula’s gift represents the largest bequest ever made to Penn State.
In May Pegula sold the oil and natural gas exploration company he owned, East Resources Inc., to Shell for almost $5 billion.
Penn State, currently the most expensive public college in the United States of America, is part of the Keystone State’s public university system. This summer the system lost $38 million in federal stimulus money and was forced to cut classes and consolidate programs.
In 2009 Penn State complained that it just wasn’t getting enough state money to meet its needs. As one journalist explained:
Penn State officials cited a lack of state money even as the university must modernize its campuses to offer the top-flight education students demand. To pay for new technology, buildings and faculty, Penn State said it faces cost increases that exceed inflation.