The Classroom Building at Penn State Brandywine will soon officially be renamed The Edward S. J. Tomezsko Classroom Building -- and known for short on campus as the Tomezsko Classroom Building. The ceremony is slated for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in the newly renamed building. During the ceremony, Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska and Delaware County Council Chairman Andrew J. Reilly will thank Tomezsko for his two decades of service to the campus.
Former chancellor Tomezsko led the campus from 1986 to 2005. Under his leadership, the campus continued a legacy of providing an affordable and first-rate education to those interested in obtaining a Penn State degree. He was instrumental in raising funds to construct the Commons/Athletic Center and the Classroom Building, which opened in 1988 and 1998, respectively.
In August of 1996, when plans for construction of the Classroom Building were taking hold, Tomezsko was able to secure a lead gift from David Lipson, currently chief executive officer of MODA Technology Partners in Fort Washington. Lipson was a student of Tomezsko's on his way to earning a liberal arts degree from Penn State in 1965.
"Ed was the driving force to build the structure and was the prime fundraiser behind the effort. Naming the building for him is recognition for his many years of service to the greater Penn State community; to the Delaware County Campus; and to the students," said Lipson. "A number of years ago when I served on the Board of Advisers, I would walk around campus with Ed and he seemed to know every student by name and would stop and chat with everyone we encountered. I was always amazed at his closeness to the undergraduates and his eagerness to assist those who asked for his help."
Current Chancellor Wisniewska, just the third leader of the campus in four decades, agreed that the renaming of the building in Tomezsko's honor was appropriate.
"If it wasn't for Ed's efforts, the building may never have come to fruition," she said. "When you also take into account his years of dedicated service to the campus, I can't think of a more worthy person to have the building renamed after."
For his part, Tomezsko, of Media, said he greatly appreciated the honor, as well as his nearly two decades leading Penn State Brandywine.
"Having the Classroom Building named in my honor is a great thrill, and I am humbled by the recognition. A lot of people have done a lot of excellent work over the years to make the campus what it is today," he said. "My greatest sense of accomplishment comes from the fact that we were able to develop a first-rate faculty, and a very welcoming student community during my time at Penn State Brandywine. The campus has evolved into a multicultural campus where students from all different cultures are comfortable, and that is a great source of pride for me."