New engineering scholarship honors parents


By Gabrielle Stewart

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Neither Bernard nor Florence Rokosz attended college. Bernard worked long hours as a truck driver and Florence was a bookkeeper to ensure all four of their daughters would graduate from college without debt.

One of those daughters, Patricia Rokosz Wussler, wanted to help create such opportunities for others. She and her husband, Randy Wussler, both Penn State alumni, established the Rokosz Endowed Scholarship in the College of Engineering in honor of Bernard and Florence’s efforts. The endowment will support students who contribute to the diversity of the student body.

“Bernard and Florence’s focus on advancement through education became a core value for us and is a major driver of this scholarship,” the Wusslers said in a statement.

Patricia and Randy received their undergraduate degrees from Penn State in 1986 — hers in aerospace engineering and his in psychology. Patricia, now retired, worked in the space programs of General Dynamics and TASC for 25 years as a mission planner and rocket trajectory analyst. Randy is currently senior vice president of product management for Green Street in Newport Beach, California.

The Wusslers expressed gratitude to Penn State for the effect their degrees had on their professional and personal lives.

“Our Penn State education laid the foundation for incredibly rewarding careers that afforded personal growth, a comfortable lifestyle and the ability to offer our children more opportunity than we could have imagined,” they said.

Patricia and Randy also spoke to the role of the College of Engineering in enriching their career opportunities.

“Patricia’s degree led to great job opportunities that helped us establish ourselves quickly and allowed Randy to pursue a graduate degree that has served us very well,” they said. “For this, we are especially grateful to the College of Engineering and eager to give back.”

Through the scholarship, the Wusslers plan to support students so they can share educational opportunities like those given to Patricia and her sisters.

“Our gift is first and foremost about providing educational opportunity that will positively impact the futures of people who have faced barriers — some of which we likely can’t understand,” the Wusslers said.

Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering, said the award will aid in efforts to support students from a variety of backgrounds.

“We’re grateful to the Wusslers for their contribution to the engineering community,” Schwartz said. “It is always heartwarming and affirming to see alumni providing opportunities to current and future students.”

This gift will advance “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit


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