montage of images featuring mr and mrs leonhard

About the Leonhards

“In the twilight of a business career, one is rarely offered an opportunity to give something back to the system that prepared him for success. My gift to endow the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education is exercising this opportunity afforded me. For Family Leonhard, our reward will be to see a growing stream of ‘world-class engineers’ graduating from the challenging experience found in the Center.”

A well-known advocate of engineering education, William Leonhard made a significant impact on the Penn State College of Engineering. At Penn State, he and his wife, Wyllis, endowed the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, the William Leonhard Chair in Engineering, and the William E. Leonhard Professorship in Engineering. The Leonhards also established the William and Wyllis Leonhard Honors Program, which provides scholarships for undergraduate engineering students.

William Leonhard was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and was named a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus in 1982. In 1988, he was honored as a Penn State Alumni Fellow. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State in 1936 and a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in electrical engineering. He is also a graduate of the Air War College.

In recognition of his generous support and dedication to the welfare of Penn State, the University’s Board of Trustees named the Leonhard Building in his honor. The building was formally dedicated in 1999.



The Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education was established in 1990 by an endowment from William and Wyllis Leonhard. Its mission is to catalyze the changes that are crucial to maintaining world-class engineering education at Penn State. In 2006 the Leonhard Center became the home for two other major programs that support teaching and learning in the College - the Office of Assessment & Instructional Support and Programs for Engineering Writing & Speaking.

The Leonhard Center

201 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-4020