Penn State receives $1 million gift from local family

Penn State received another major gift recently as the school announced Tuesday that State College natives Paul and Nancy Silvis have pledged $1 million to the start-up of the men’s and women’s Division I programs that will begin play with the 2012-2013 season.

The main lobby of the Pegula Ice Arena will be named after the Silvis family and the couple will also co-chair the Penn State Ice Campaign Committee, which will help to raise an additional $10 million to complement the $88 million gift from Terry and Kim Pegula for the arena and program endowments.

“Nancy and I felt compelled to give to the project because of the important role hockey has played in our lives as well as the opportunities this new facility will bring to the youth of our community,” said Paul Silvis in a statement. “Joe Battista (associate athletic director for the Pegula Ice Arena/hockey operations) and I have been discussing strategies to build a new ice facility for many, many years. While the Pegulas’ initial gift gets us much closer to the goal, it doesn’t quite get the puck in the net.  Terry and Kim are looking for assists from others in the community to show their passion for a new ice arena.”

“After having three sons involved in the sport, we are excited that varsity hockey is coming to Happy Valley,” said Nancy Silvis in the same statement. “Paul and I met because of hockey and we have been able to enjoy many hours and experiences with our families because of their participation in ice hockey.  We are proud to be part of Penn State’s hockey future and look forward to helping with the campaign.”

Paul Silvis founded Restek Corporation, located in Bellefonte, Pa., in 1985.  Restek has grown into an international business manufacturing chromatography columns and supplies that are represented in more than 110 countries. In 2009, he formed SilcoTek, an offshoot of the Restek Corporation. SilcoTek uses CVD technologies to impart many of the properties of Teflon® into steel.  He is also a member of Penn State’s Board of Trustees.

Nancy Silvis is co-owner of the historic Mount Nittany Inn in Centre Hall and a resident of Centre County since 1982. In addition to being a pharmacist, she currently volunteers her time on the State Theatre Board, WPSU Board and co-chairs the WPSU Wine Celebration and the all-new Race Day Soiree 2011 for the American Cancer Society.

Paul and Nancy hold the distinction as being the first (and only) husband and wife to graduate from Penn State’s Smeal Executive MBA program in 2006.