Penn State New Kensington to name student union after philanthropist Chuck Booth
Penn State New Kensington plans to name its new student union building after the late Chuck Booth to honor the longtime donor and supporter of the school.
Booth was one of the early advocates for the campus and contributed regularly to scholarship funds and other campus initiatives. He died in August at 99.
“His funding touched hundreds and hundreds of students over the years,” said Kevin Snider, chancellor of Penn State New Kensington.
The 36,000-square-foot building will be named the Charles H. Booth Jr. Student Union.
“I think for anyone that knew him, I’m hoping this is as big of a deal to them as it is to us,” Snider said. “He just meant so much to so many.”
The new building is expected to house an art gallery, club meeting spaces, a conference center, police services suite and offices for student life and student activities.
“We are still in the very early planning stages, but this is going to be a whole new addition to our campus and to the fabric of our campus,” Snider said. “We now have students that, even though they commute, many of them are around and interested and on our campus for long periods of time. We need a place where we can take advantage of that time to help them realize a whole academic experience.”
Since the project is in its early stage, Snider said Booth didn’t have a chance to participate in the planning or funding of it. The cost of the project hasn’t been determined.
Construction is expected to begin in 2021 after a feasibility study is done this fall.
Booth made his living running and growing Burrell Construction and Supply, the business his father started in 1935, and later Burrell Group Inc., which provides consulting and business services.
Booth served as an advisory board member to the campus for more than 60 years. Booth also was honored by the campus as its Renaissance Honoree of the Year, with a scholarship created in his name. Booth was named an honorary alumnus of Penn State in 2007.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter .