Charles N. “Charlie” Marshall, a former executive at Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and Conrail, is giving $600,000 to support Penn State University’s Rail Transportation Engineering (RTE) degree program.
A half-million dollars grant from Marshall will fund a new Donnell Marshall Excellence Scholarship for Rail Transportation Engineering Students at Penn State Altoona. A separate gift of $100,000 has created the Penn State Altoona Rail Transportation Engineering Enhancement Endowment.
“Charlie’s transformational gift will have a lasting impact on our RTE program and our college. I appreciate his unwavering support,” Penn State Altoona Chancellor and Dean Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry said in a written statement.
The scholarship is named in honor of Marshall’s father, Donnell, who attended Penn State a century ago. It will support Penn State Altoona students with high financial need who major or plan to major in Rail Transportation Engineering. This gift was matched 1:1 by the University as part of a matching program under the University’s current fundraising campaign. The Rail Transportation Engineering Enhancement Endowment will help fund the program’s marketing, recruitment and retention efforts, including digital media advertising, outreach programs and summer camps.
Launched in 2017, the university’s RTE program is the first and only bachelor of science degree in rail transportation engineering in the nation. It’s accredited by the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Thirty-two students have been enrolled in the program. Twenty-four students have graduated. And every graduate is employed in the field.
Marshall retired as vice chairman of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. in 2006, where he previously served as president and chief operating officer. Earlier in his career he served in various high-level positions at Conrail, including senior vice president of development.