Penn State plans center for research on fraternities, sororities

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 22, 2019 6:48 AM

FILE PHOTO: This Nov. 9, 2017, file photo shows Penn State University's shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity house in State College. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

(State College) -- Penn State is announcing plans for a national multidisciplinary research center on fraternities and sororities as part of an effort for change following the death of a fraternity pledge two years ago.

The unversity has pledged $2 million for creation of the Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform, named after the student who died in 2017.

Private support and university-matching funds are to provide an $8 million endowment.

University president Eric Barron said the center will allow "study of best practices and assessment in fraternity and sorority life" and provide leadership "to compel the collective change required."

It is designed to build on the legacy of the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research at Indiana University Bloomington, which is transferring to Penn State.

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