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College pays tribute to CEO Emeritus Harold Perkins

Dr. Perkins
Dr. Harold W. Perkins
Penn State Berks will pay tribute to the late Dr. Harold W. Perkins, CEO Emeritus, on Friday, May 6, 2011, from 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. in the tent in front of the Perkins Student Center. The celebration will include remarks from past faculty and staff, as well as community leaders and Perkins family members, and it will be followed by a groundbreaking ceremony for the Perkins Plaza. This event is free and open to the public.

For forty years, Perkins dreamed of building a clock carillon on campus as a gathering place not only for students, but also for the greater community. He wanted the area to be an inviting area where people would sit and chat and enjoy the music of the carillon.

The Perkins Plaza will be constructed at the center of campus, in the area between the Perkins Student Center and the Thun Library. The plaza will include outdoor seating areas, a fountain, and a clock carillon.

Perkins passed away on October 10, 2010. He served as CEO of Penn State Berks from 1959-1984 and was instrumental in laying the foundation for the college.

Under Perkins’ leadership, the Berks Center held its first capital campaign from 1967–68 to raise funds for a new, expanded campus location. With the recommendation of Perkins and other campus leaders, the University acquired Penn State Berks’ first current campus tract of 105 acres in 1969.

Then in 1972, construction of the Luerssen Building was complete and the facility moved to its current location in Spring Township. It was renamed Penn State Berks Campus at this time. In 1973, the Student Center was completed and later renamed the Perkins Student Center in honor of the campus CEO.

The campus continued to grow under Perkins’ tenure with the addition of the Thun Library in 1975 and the Beaver Community Center in 1979, and the acquisition of the Janssen estate in 1981.

Dr. Perkins retired in 1984 but remained active in the campus until the time of his death. He was instrumental in the publication of a campus history book. Most recently, he served on the college’s capital campaign board.

For more information on giving a gift toward the Perkins Plaza project, contact the Penn State Berks Office of Development at 610-396-6056.
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