Announcing a Historic Change

Franco Harris on the sidelines at a football game.
Photo credit: Trish Hummer

As we close another eventful and successful year and look forward to the next, we’d like to share some exciting news with you. In recognition of a truly iconic figure in the Penn State and Pittsburgh communities, our Center will now be known as the Franco Harris Pittsburgh Center at Penn State.

This change reflects our deep appreciation for the late Franco Harris and his lasting impact on the Pittsburgh community, both on and off the field. As a legendary football player and a committed philanthropist, Franco embodied the values and spirit that our Center strives to uphold.

Franco’s spirit of giving, dedication to community engagement, and belief in the power of education align seamlessly with Penn State Outreach’s mission to create positive change throughout the Commonwealth, including the city of Pittsburgh. Our outreach efforts extend far beyond the classroom, reaching into communities to make a tangible impact, and Franco Harris exemplifies the essence of that mission.

On Tuesday, December 12, we will dedicate our space and honor the life and legacy of Franco during a private gathering with Dana and Dok Harris, Penn State President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, and other distinguished guests from Penn State and Pittsburgh.

The newly renamed Franco Harris Pittsburgh Center houses a variety of Penn State Outreach units and programs, such as the Readiness Institute at Penn State, City Semester Pittsburgh, and the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program. In addition, other Penn State programs and resources at the Center include career services, alumni meetups, and Penn State Extension programs: Pennsylvania 4-H, Urban and Community Forestry, Master Gardener, and more. Each program, working collectively alongside Penn State campuses and colleges, serves Pittsburgh initiatives that are grounded in increasing Penn State’s land-grant impact mission.

With Franco’s name gracing the Center, we reaffirm our commitment to making education accessible to all and extending our hand to the communities we serve. We honor the enduring legacy of Franco Harris, a beacon of hope and champion of the human spirit, as we continue the vital work of Penn State Outreach.