Hollywood producer gives $30M to Penn State communications

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - A Hollywood producer and screenwriter, known for creating such television hits as "Magnum, P.I.," ''Quantum Leap" and "NCIS," is donating $30 million to Penn State University.

The donation from Donald Bellisario and his wife, Vivienne, will be used to transform the university's College of Communications. In recognition of the contribution, the university trustees on Friday approved renaming the college after Bellasario.

"The success Don Bellisario has achieved makes all of us aspire to be greater ourselves," said Dean Marie Hardin, "and the investment that he has already made in our college and our students has helped inspire a vision that this unprecedented gift will empower us to fulfill."

Bellisario graduated from Penn State in 1961. He started off in advertising and worked his way up to senior vice president at the Bloom Agency. He made the leap in the 1970s to Hollywood production. He's won an Edgar Allan Poe writing award and multiple Emmys.

Penn State said the donation is the fifth-largest gift in the university's history.

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