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Penn State York receives largest-ever gift for entrepreneurial leadership center

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Industrial entrepreneur Donald C. Graham has given the largest-ever gift to Penn State York to create the Graham Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies, the university said.

At the request of the donor, Penn State York is not releasing the exact amount.

But the largest gifts previously were $2 million, spokeswoman Barbara Dennis said.

Creating the center continues a pilot program and will enhance the career preparation of students with interdisciplinary coursework as well as internships and networking opportunities with local businesses, a news release stated.

The forerunner to the center, the Graham Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, was established in 2010 also through a major gift from Graham, according to the release.

“I believe that entrepreneurial thinking, as I define it, is much broader than just what is usually thought of when we talk about entrepreneurialism, which is the starting up of a company,” Graham said in the statement. “Companies of any size require an entrepreneurial process to successfully supply products and services to the market.”

Students from four disciplines, including business and engineering, have been involved in the program so far and the university hopes to expand out to more majors, according to the release.

Three legacy industrial businesses tracing back to a design engineering firm Graham founded in a farmhouse basement are Graham Engineering Corp., Graham Architectural Products Corp. and Graham Packaging Co. LP, which is now owned by Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd., according to The Graham Group’s website.

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey covers York County, agribusiness, energy and environment, and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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