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Three new Arch Society members inducted at gala; Arbuckles, Muellers, Schultz

Arch Society Inductee
Suzette Shaffer Schultz recives an Arch print by Bud Gibbons from Chancellor Snider.
10/2/2012 —


Membership Reserved for $25,000 Donors

Robert and Lorraine Arbuckle, Robert “Doc” and Linda Mueller, and Suzette Shaffer Schultz were inducted Sept. 28 into Penn State New Kensington’s Arch Recognition Society at the annual Chancellor's Gala.

The new members join a roster of 24 alumni and friends who were honored at the gala during the past two years. The donor society's membership is reserved for campus supporters who have contributed a total of $25,000 to the campus.

The Arch Society was founded in 2010 and named for the arch that stands at the front entrance to the campus. Designed by Henry Noestheden and donated by Alcoa, the aluminum arch has been a campus landmark since 1976. A symbol of the history and spirit of the campus, the arch is a significant tribute to the campus’ achievements. It was the inspiration for the creation of the new society that supports the needs and programs of Penn State New Kensington students.

"The arch sits at the top of a set of stairs and forms a portal to the campus," said Barb Arnold, who is a charter member of the society. "It leads new students upward to find their path, their adventure and their new frontier."

The honored guests received a print of a painting of the arch by Bud Gibbons, professor of visual arts at the campus. The gala was sponsored by the Grable Foundation, the campus' 2012 Corporate/Foundation Partner of the Year.

Membership in the Arch Society is open to alumni and friends of the campus. For more information, contact Donna Speer, director of development, at 724-334-6057.

Bob and Lorraine Arbuckle
With a recent estate gift of $100,000, Bob and Lorraine Arbuckle established the Dr. and Mrs. Robert D. Arbuckle Technology Fund at Penn State New Kensington. The campus’ latest endowment encourages current and future professors and researchers to examine their assumptions about technology and education and imagine new possibilities for bringing them together.  The commitment gives the campus the opportunity to incorporate new tools into teaching on projects and programs.

The Arbuckles' ties to the campus go back more than 40 years. Bob Arbuckle, who holds master's and doctorate degrees from Penn State, began his career in 1968 as a professor of history at the University Park campus and six years later was appointed chief academic officer at the New Kensington campus. In 1977, he was named campus executive officer and remained at Penn State New Kensington for fifteen years.

Coalescing community leaders, he spearheaded a capital campaign for the construction of the two-building Science and Technology Center. The opening of the first building in 1990 made the campus one of the most technically advanced in the Penn State system. That building was named after Arbuckle in November. The Robert D. Arbuckle Technology Building is home to many specialized engineering laboratories that enable students to pursue innovative programs in technology.

Arbuckle assumed the presidency of Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., in 1992.
At Lake Superior, Arbuckle continued in his role as visionary. He was instrumental in expanding the Walker Cisler Student Center, renovating the Student Activity Center, ice arena and library, and breaking ground for the Fine Arts Center. Upon his retirement in 2002, he was awarded the title of President Emeritus, and the Student Activities building was named in his honor.

The Arbuckles returned to his hometown of Washington Township and resumed their bond with the campus. In 2004, he was named an Alumni Fellow, the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association. The distinction is reserved for alumni who are leaders in their professional fields. The New Kensington campus boasts two other alumni fellows: Charles Carson (2002) and Barbara Arnold (2011).

Complementing his standing at the campus is his presence in the community. Arbuckle has served as president and chair of several local boards including Rotary, YMCA, United Way, chambers of commerce, and hospitals. He has received numerous awards including the University’s John E. Wilkerson Award for Administrative Excellence and Rotary International's Legacy to Children award for his work in polio eradication.

The Arbuckles have three children—Lisa, Robert, and Jeffrey. Lisa and Robert are Penn State graduates.

Doc Mueller and Linda Mueller
For the past 14 years, Robert "Doc" Mueller, associate professor of engineering at Penn State New Kensington, has helped his students earn engineering degrees; now he is helping them pay for the degrees.

Mueller and his wife, Linda, established the Doc and Linda Mueller Trustee Scholarship at the campus. The $50,000 endowment is a need-based scholarship, and new and current students are eligible to receive the annual awards. First preference will be given to students in the four-year Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology (EMET) program.

“Our motivation was that scholarships allowed me to attend college,” said Doc Mueller, who was born and raised on a small farm in Kansas. “It is an appropriate way to repay the opportunities that were given to me because I had a degree.”

Mueller joined the campus faculty in 1998 and teaches upper-level courses in electro-mechanical engineering technology and lower-level courses in computer engineering technology. The EMET degree program emphasizes all fields of engineering technology related to typical, highly-automated manufacturing, production, or assembly plant processes. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and earned a bachelor's degree from Wichita State University in Kansas.

Prior to Penn State New Kensington, Mueller spent more than 30 years in the private industry working with industrial control systems. A registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania, he is a consultant regarding industrial automation and serves as an expert witness in product liability and wrongful death lawsuits. He served for 21 years in the military and retired as a colonel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Mueller is a member of the American Society of Engineering Educators and the American Society of Military Engineers, as well as a senior grade member of the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society and the Institute of Electrical Engineers. His consulting firm, Industrial Automation and Control Inc., provides engineering solutions for control system problems. The company is located in the Westmoreland County Business and Research Park on Pennsylvania State Route 780, about four miles from campus.

Linda Mueller is founder and president of a personal care home in Butler, Pa. The 40-bed facility serves disabled veterans. Her association with the campus goes back to her student days. After becoming a registered nurse, she enrolled in the new bachelor’s degree in nursing program. She was a member of Penn State New Kensington’s first class of nursing graduates.

The Freeport, Pa., residents are longtime Penn State donors and have advocated for other campus scholarships and programs. They sponsor the annual Chancellor’s Gala that raises funds for the Advisory Board’s Trustee Scholarship, and they support the Faculty Speaker Series, a biannual lecture and discussion program that is geared to the local community. Doc Mueller received a teaching award in 2010. In keeping with his support of engineering students, he donated the award money to the Bernard and Geraldine Guss Endowed Scholarship. Bernie Guss, professor emeritus of engineering, established the scholarship in 2001 for local students majoring in engineering technology at the campus.

In addition to his academic responsibilities and philanthropic generosity, Doc Mueller co-chairs the campus' Faculty/Staff Campaign for the University's current $2 billion fundraising effort, "For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students." The campus is responsible for raising $3 million of the total and is on track to reach its goal. With two and a half years remaining in the campaign, the campus has already hit the $2 million mark, which is 66 percent of its total.

Suzette Shaffer Schultz
The former Penn State New Kensington student pledged $50,000 to create the Shaffer Family Trustee Matching Scholarship at the campus. Schultz’s gift establishes the 11th trustee matching scholarship at the campus.

Through the matching scholarship program, developed in 2002 by the Penn State Board of Trustees, donors become partners with the University in supporting students. The annual spendable income on an endowed scholarship, which averages 5 percent, is matched by the University and allows donors to make the most of their philanthropic dollars.

“Penn State set me on the path to a rewarding career, allowing me the ability to give back to the community,” Schultz said. “Creating a scholarship ensures continued financial support to students for many years to come. In a small way, I hope to help other students attain their dream of getting a college education as a springboard to a rewarding working career.”

Undergraduates and incoming freshmen at the New Kensington campus are eligible for the Shaffer scholarship. As per the donor’s wishes, graduates of Plum High School will be given first preference. Schultz is a native of Plum and a graduate of the high school.

Schultz has a long history of philanthropic activity at Penn State, with the New Kensington campus and the College of Engineering as the major beneficiaries of her gifts. Her family’s Penn State bloodline runs through the New Kensington and University Park campuses. Schultz attended New Kensington before earning bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry at University Park. Her brother, David Shaffer, took the same route in earning his bachelor’s degree. Her daughter, Katherine Schultz, is a senior at University Park.

“Attending the New Kensington campus was a great way to start my college education -- small class sizes, lots of support, and a caring staff,” Schultz said. “In addition, it allowed me the opportunity to live at home and work part time."

A resident of Thornton, Pa., located 36 miles west of Philadelphia, Schultz is a senior project manager for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. As a part of its employee program, AstraZeneca is matching Schultz’s initial pledge of $25,000.

In addition to commitments to Penn State, Schultz is active in the community. She is the current president of Girls Inc. of Delaware, a nonprofit organization that encourage girls to master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges through research-based initiatives. The programs address many issues such as math and science education and sports participation. She is past president of the Delaware Valley section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and secretary of the Wilmington section.

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