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Kinsleys pledge $5.5M for engineering school at York College

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The founder and CEO of Kinsley Construction Inc. and his wife have made a $5.5 million gift commitment to York College to create and operate The Kinsley School of Engineering, Science and Technology.

The commitment from Robert Kinsley and his wife, Anne, was announced Monday by York College officials.

It will bring together programs in biology, chemistry, forensic chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science and all of the engineering programs – mechanical, civil, and electrical – and is "truly a transformative gift that will provide resources for students in all of our STEM disciplines," York College President Pamela Gunter-Smith said in a statement.

The college is in the process of moving to a five-school system, and the Kinsley School is the second to have been officially named, college spokeswoman Mary Dohlheimer said. The first was the college's Graham School of Business, named for another prominent York County business family.

The gift from the Kinsleys lends financial support to that effort, she said, adding that it is one of the college's larger gift commitments.

Robert Kinsley formerly served as chairman of the board of trustees at York College.

"With a long career in the construction business, I understand the need for engineers," he said in the college news release.

His companies have had good experiences with York College graduates, he said, and he and his wife "are very interested in educating future engineers with a desire to remain in Central Pennsylvania after graduation, and become contributors to our economic well-being."

His relationship with York College's engineering program dates back to its inception in 1993, college officials said.

Kinsley was on the search committee that hired the first director for engineering, and he has remained involved with the program in the years since, the college said.

Kinsley provided financial support in 2008 for the renovation of the former York Narrow Fabrics manufacturing facility into The Kinsley Engineering Center, which now has 400 students majoring in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science and computer engineering, and electrical engineering.

He founded Kinsley Construction in 1963, beginning as a subcontracting firm in the concrete trade. It has now grown to seven divisions focusing on specific areas of construction.

The Kinsley firm, based in York Township, has completed some 200 projects in York City over the last 20 years, local economic officials have said.

Its projects include the recent renovation of downtown York's former Lafayette Club for York College and renovation of York's Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, now the Appell Center for the Performing Arts.

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David O'Connor

David O'Connor

Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at doconnor@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @DaveOC_CPBJ.

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