William & Wyllis Leonhard

Engineering Scholars Program


About the Program's Benefactors

Penn State alumnus William E. Leonhard and his wife Wyllis want to help young people with their education and improve our country's future. One way to do both, they say, is to encourage the best students to enter engineering.

"Our goal is to enroll and retain an increasing share of the best and brightest students in the field of engineering," says Bill Leonhard. "We need to prepare them for a challenging and rewarding career in industry or in government service, and to equip them with the technical and managerial skills to succeed as leaders in their chosen fields."

Bill retired as Chair and Chief Executive Officer from The Parsons Corporation in California, where he worked for twenty-four years, following a twenty-eight year career in the Air Force and Army Corps of Engineers.

In 1982 Bill was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and was named a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus. In 1988 he was honored as a Penn State Alumni Fellow. He earned a B.S. from Penn State in 1936 and an M.S. from MIT, both in electrical engineering.

Wyllis Leonhard has made her family and community her career: raising their three children; volunteering in scouts, PTAs, and hospitals; and "keeping their happy home intact" during the thirty-seven moves they've made in their sixty-year marriage!