Penn State Alumnus Donald P. Bellisario Endows College of Communications

Story posted April 21, 2017 in CommRadio, News by Jordan Cioppa

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s College of Communications has announced today that it has officially changed its name to the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications after receiving a $30 million donation from Bellisario himself.

According to a news article released by the college, the money will support communications students and faculty and will be used to create the state-of-the-art Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Media Center, which will be located in the Willard Building on campus.

Bellisario spoke earlier today about his Penn State history-making gift in the very building the future media center will be located in. “This building will be gutted and will change quite dramatically and be updated with all new equipment; everything that is needed to teach the things that I had to learn on my own, and that makes me feel pretty good,” the Distinguished Alumnus said. He also said he wants to see his gift go to more scholarships and to faculty chairs.

Bellisario is the creator and producer of the TV series “Magnum, P.I.,” “Quantum Leap,” and “NCIS.” According to the college’s article he is also the winner of many awards such as the 2001 Producer of the Year Award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers, and Directors.

His huge donation is not the first time he helped Penn State. According to the article, he and his wife have also endowed the Donald P. Bellisario Trustee Scholarship with a million dollar commitment.

Marie Hardin, the Dean of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, said she believes having this name will attract the best students in the country. “There is only one moment like this in the history of any college, and that is when a college attracts the kind of philanthropic gift that allows you literally, to put the name of a great donor on your college. And how lucky are we that this person is Don Bellisario?” the Dean excitedly asked.

She also said the $30 million will give many more students the opportunity to receive financial support for work experience within the college, internships, and even through awards. She said they are looking to begin construction for the media center around December of 2018, with hopes of it possibly being finished in May 2019.


Jordan Cioppa is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact her at