Engineering community mourns death of alumnus Peter Dal Pezzo

May 4, 2023

By Mary Fetzer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The University and the Penn State College of Engineering community are mourning the loss of industrial engineering alumnus and benefactor Peter R. Dal Pezzo, who died on March 28 in La Jolla, California. He was 76.  

“Peter was a dedicated and generous alumnus of the College of Engineering,” said Justin Schwartz, executive vice president and provost at Penn State and former Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Penn State’s College of Engineering. “He held a strong conviction that Penn State must instill an awareness of the world in our students, and he worked to facilitate that global awareness through his philanthropic efforts. During my tenure as dean, I was fortunate to get to know Peter well and to watch firsthand as he demonstrated the true spirit of altruism with a life dedicated to providing opportunities for others.” 

Dal Pezzo and his wife, Angela, endowed the Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo Department Head Chair of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and provided support for a new Global Learning Laboratory in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, in addition to supporting undergraduate scholarships in the College of Engineering. Their most recent gift came in 2021 to name the Entrepreneurship Office Suite and Conference Room in the new Engineering Design and Innovation Building on West Campus.  

Dal Pezzo served as a member of the College of Engineering’s Industrial and Professional Advisory Council. He also helped to pioneer service systems engineering, an industrial engineering approach to service businesses, and served as a member of Penn State’s Service Systems Engineering Advisory Board.

Dal Pezzo earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Penn State in 1968 and held a master’s in business and finance from Virginia Commonwealth University. He began his career at Bethlehem Steel Corp., where he became plant superintendent of the rebar fabrication shop in Albany, New York. In 1981, he joined Dixie-Narco Inc., a subsidiary of Maytag Corp., as general manager of manufacturing. 

In 1987, Dal Pezzo assumed co-ownership of Pelco Inc., a video security company in Fresno, California. During his tenure, he served as vice president of corporate projects, vice president of engineering, vice president of manufacturing and vice president of facilities. In 2007, Pelco was sold to Schneider Electric for $1.54 billion. 

Dal Pezzo went on to form Elevon, the management consulting and development subsidiary of Dal Pezzo Enterprise, and served as the company’s president and chief executive officer. 

Dal Pezzo, who played saxophone in the Penn State Blue Band, was a member of the board of directors for the Fresno Philharmonic and, in 2009, received the Citizen Award from the Fresno Arts Council. He was an avid car collector and active in the Ferrari Club of America Las Vegas Chapter. He also volunteered his time and his Cessna 210 airplane to transport medical professionals in the Flying Doctors of Mercy program and flew many missions for Angel Flight West, in which he transported patients to out-of-town treatments in his TBM940 turboprop jet. 

Dal Pezzo was a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association and received the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award in 2003. In 2013, he was named an Alumni Fellow. He also was a member of the Mount Nittany Society and the Laurel Circle.  


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College of Engineering Media Relations

"Peter held a strong conviction that Penn State must instill an awareness of the world in our students, and he worked to facilitate that global awareness through his philanthropic efforts." —Justin Schwartz