York College receives $5.5-million gift commitment from Kinsley family to name The Kinsley School of Engineering, Science and Technology
A couple who has spent decades supporting York College of Pennsylvania and its engineering program has made a $5.5-million gift commitment naming The Kinsley School of Engineering, Science and Technology.
Bob and Anne Kinsley’s gift commitment will support the creation and operation of The Kinsley School of Engineering, Science and Technology, which will bring together programs in biology, chemistry, forensic chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science and all of the engineering programs – mechanical, civil, and electrical.
“The Kinsley family has been a staunch supporter of York College and, in particular, our engineering program,” said York College President Pamela Gunter-Smith. “This is truly a transformative gift that will provide resources for students in all of our STEM disciplines. We are grateful for the Kinsley family’s generosity and acknowledgment of York College's commitment to excellence. Our School of Engineering, Science, and Technology, which bears the Kinsley name, is a fitting recognition of their contributions to the College and our community.”
CEO and founder of Kinsley Construction, Bob attended York Junior College and formerly served as chair of the board of trustees at York College. “With a long career in the construction business, I understand the need for engineers,” he said. “The Kinsley companies have had a great experience with York College graduates who, as fellow employees, contribute to our successes and that of the larger industrial community. Anne and I are very interested in educating future engineers with a desire to remain in Central Pennsylvania after graduation and become contributors to our economic well-being.”
Bob Kinsley’s relationship with York’s engineering program dates back to its conception in 1993, when a group of local industry representatives met with then-president George Waldner to determine what was needed for such a program. “I was on the search committee that hired the first director for engineering,” Kinsley said. He has remained very involved with the program since then, providing financial support in 2008 for the renovation of the former York Narrow Fabrics manufacturing facility into The Kinsley Engineering Center. That facility is currently home to more than 400 students majoring in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science and computer engineering, and electrical engineering.
Throughout the years and the changes, however, the program’s philosophy has remained strongly focused on hands-on experiences and close interaction with faculty, according to Kinsley. “The Engineering co-op program is an extremely important aspect of the curriculum as it gives students practical experience and graduates hit the ground running. It also builds relationships with local and regional businesses. And the faculty interaction – the concept of not being just a number – helps to retain students.”
"The Kinsleys’ steadfast support of our engineering programs over the years has contributed greatly to our continued growth and success,” said Wayne Blanding, chair of the Department of Engineering and Computer Science. “Bob Kinsley's vision of a hands-on engineering program complemented with practical work experience continues to be our guiding light. As we transition to the Kinsley School of Engineering, Science, and Technology, this generous gift on the part of Bob and Anne Kinsley will provide the resources to allow us to make the next leap forward in transforming our programs to meet the needs of the next generation of engineers."
The Kinsleys are benefactors of the York area as well, and they see this gift commitment as an opportunity to boost economic development and promote the City of York as a good place to live, a place on the edge of returning to its historical role as a strong industrial community, according to Bob. “Our job is also to perpetuate other companies in this region by supporting the College. York College is a real jewel for the area that plays a big part in the local economy,” he said.
With five sons working in construction-related professions, the Kinsley legacy in York and at York College will continue. “Our family understands Bob’s affinity and long-term relationship with the College,” said Anne. “Our foundation fosters education. Everything about this gift is a fit for us.”