Weber family connected to New Kensington campus on various levels
AL, KIM, RYAN, JUSTIN AND ERIN ARE
A PART OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
Penn State New Kensington was founded in 1958 after a study revealed a demand for higher education in the Alle-Kiski Valley. The Weber family of Lower Burrell personifies that study and validates the foresight of the University’s and local community leaders.
As alumni and friends, the Webers are affiliated with the New Kensington campus on various levels. Al Weber is the president of the campus advisory board. His wife, Kim, took courses at the campus for a year as a part of the curriculum of the Western Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Their three children, Ryan, Justin and Erin, are alumni, beginning their degree work at the New Kensington campus before completing their majors at the University Park campus.
“Penn State New Kensington offers a world-class education in our back yard,” said Al, who holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Gannon University. “It provides a hub for educational, cultural and athletic activities for campus students and the community at large.”
A vice president with Hefren-Tillotson Inc. and registered investment advisor, Al is active at the campus and in the community. He has been a member of the advisory board for five years and was elected to a two-year term as president in 2010. Under his leadership, the board raised a record $10,000 at its annual Chancellor’s Gala in October. The amount represented a 25 percent increase over the previous year and is earmarked for the board’s endowed scholarship at the campus. He also serves as guest lecturer in marketing and finance classes at the campus. In Lower Burrell, he chairs the Police Civil Service Commission and sits on the board of the Burrell Area Rotary Club. In addition, he served on the Parent Advisory committee of the Burrell School District.
“The role of the advisory board is to improve the educational and social experience of students, and to enhance the profile of the campus,” said Al, who grew up in New Kensington.
Kim is a native of Lower Burrell and a retired registered nurse. She grew up with the campus just up the hill and knows the value of its presence in the community, especially for her family.
“Penn State New Kensington was a great transition campus for all my children, from both a personal and educational standpoint," said Kim, who also volunteered her time for Burrell. “I felt that they all had a great experience at the campus.”
Erin took full advantage of staying home for the first two years. While matriculating at the campus, she was able to play two intercollegiate sports, basketball and softball, maintain membership on the Dean’s List, and work part-time. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and kindergarten education in 2008.
“Living at home gave me the opportunity to adapt to college studies, develop a solid work ethic, and learn to multi-task,” said Erin, a first-grade teacher at Bell Avon Elementary School in the Kiski Area School District. "All of the experiences have assisted me in my career.”
Her brothers are equally successful in their professional endeavors. Ryan earned an economics degree in 2003 and is a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley in Miami. Justin graduated in 2007 with a mechanical engineering degree and is a sales engineer for Lufkin Industries in Leechburg, Pa.
Erin’s bond with the campus continues to grow. She has returned as a student in the master of education program. She will graduate in May with a master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum.