UNIVERSITY PARK – The Penn State Ice Campaign took another significant step forward recently as Paul and Nancy Silvis, of State College, Pa., pledged $1 million to the project. The contribution was the first major gift on the heels of an $88 million contribution from Terry and Kim Pegula last fall for a new ice facility at Penn State as well as the start of Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey programs in 2012.
The main lobby of the Pegula Ice Arena will be named after the Paul and Nancy Silvis family. The couple also will co-chair the Penn State Ice Campaign Committee, which will help to raise an additional $10 million to complement the gift from the Pegulas for the ice arena and ice hockey 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. “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. Through additional gifts from the community we can transform Penn State and the Centre Region into Hockey Valley. It will take a team of passionate players to turn this ice arena into reality.”
“After having three sons involved in the sport, we are excited that varsity hockey is coming to Happy Valley,” said Nancy Silvis. “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 Corp. (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 addition to being on the cutting edge of its industry, Restek has positioned itself as a key figure throughout the Centre Region with many of its employees serving on boards and volunteering their time towards good causes. Silvis places heavy emphasis on innovation in the workplace. Restek has won many awards including being named in 2007 by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 15 companies to work for. In 2008, the company became 100 percent employee owned through an ESOP.
In 2009, Paul Silvis formed SilcoTek, an offshoot of the Restek Corp. Located in Bellefonte, Pa., SilcoTek uses CVD technologies to impart many of the properties of Teflon into steel. A member of Penn State’s Board of Trustees, Silvis is active in the local and University communities, including the Patton Township Planning Commission, Centre Community Foundation, President of the Central PA July 4th Inc., past chairman of the board of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County (CBICC) and a member of their executive board of directors, a former advisory board member for Schreyer Institute for Innovation and Learning and Schreyer Honors College, past member of the For the Future Campaign and past member of the Outreach Advisory Board.
Nancy Silvis is co-owner of the historic Mount Nittany Inn in Centre Hall, Pa., and a resident of Centre County since 1982. In addition to being a pharmacist, Nancy 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. She also volunteers in the CVIM pharmacy, and is the former Celebrations Chair for the Fourth Fest.
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.
“We are so grateful to Paul and Nancy for their generous gift to the Ice Campaign,” said Tim Curley, director of athletics at Penn State, “We are equally as excited that they have agreed to co-chair the Penn State Ice Campaign Committee. Moving forward, they will be a big part of helping to raise the additional funds needed for the launch of varsity ice hockey at Penn State.”
Pegula Ice Arena is slated to open in late September 2013. The ice arena will be the only major rink within an 80-mile radius and will be on par with the best collegiate facilities in the nation. The facility will be built on the corner of Curtin Road and University Drive, directly west of the Bryce Jordan Center. It will include two ice sheets and other features that will allow it to be used for a broad range of campus and community activities, from commencement ceremonies to kinesiology classes to public skating sessions and youth camps.
The facility will provide new training and performance opportunities for a figure skating academy and for the University’s women’s ice hockey team, which also will transition from club to varsity status. The arena also will offer ice time to recreational and high school hockey programs, as well as intramural and local speed skating and broomball clubs. The arena will be able to host events such as professional ice shows and National Hockey League and American Hockey League exhibition games, generating tourism and other economic impacts in the region.
“My wife, Kim, and I, along with the rest of the Penn State Hockey family are thrilled that Paul and Nancy Silvis have stepped forward to be the first major gift after our contribution,” said Terry Pegula. “A project of this magnitude can only be accomplished through the efforts and generosity of many dedicated people. Having a family that shares our love for the game involved as we move forward is a major asset. I commend Paul and Nancy on their offer to chair our fundraising committee and hope many more people like Paul and Nancy look to get involved with the hockey program in the future.”
In conjunction with the largest private gift in the history of the University that funds this arena, Penn State will establish NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey programs. The two teams are slated to begin competition in the 2012-13 season.
For more information about the Penn State Ice Campaign, contact RJ Gimbl of the Nittany Lion Club at 814-863-GIFT.
Jeff Nelson, Penn State University