Posts tagged ‘Donald P. Bellisario’

Special Agent Timothy McGee Pays a Visit

Sean Murray and his mom, Vivienne Bellisario, with Penn State President Eric Barron and his wife, Molly. Photo by John Beale.

Penn State rolled out the red carpet for Don Bellisario ’61 and his family last weekend, honoring the Hollywood producer and screenwriter (NCIS; JAG; Magnum, P.I.) for his $30 million gift to the academic unit now known as the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

When the college posted a collection of photos from the weekend to Facebook, one face in particular jumped out at me: Sean Murray, who plays Special Agent Timothy McGee on my absolute favorite TV show, NCIS. Murray happens to be Bellisario’s stepson; he’s the son of Bellisario’s wife, Vivienne.

Sean Murray (via Twitter)

It turns out that Bellisario brought 48 family members for the festivities at Penn State last weekend. (Another celebrity offspring in the group was Bellisario’s daughter from a previous marriage, Troian, who starred in the TV series Pretty Little Liars.) The events included the official dedication of the Bellisario College on Friday, a ceremony at halftime of the Penn State/Michigan game on Saturday night, and a recognition dinner on Sunday night.

The Bellisario entourage also got a bus tour of campus and town, so they could see some of their patriarch’s roots—including a house on West Prospect Avenue where Bellisario once lived. By coincidence, the dean of the college, Marie Hardin, later owned and lived in the same house.

It’s just fun to know that Special Agent McGee got to see our campus, had his picture taken at the Nittany Lion Shrine, and watched the Lions’ spectacular White-Out win over Michigan from the president’s suite in Beaver Stadium. You can see him—and, of course, his famous stepfather—in the photos by John Beale on Facebook.

Tina Hay, editor

October 27, 2017 at 9:47 am Leave a comment

Inside Our July/August 2017 Issue

When Harry Swimmer ’51 started a therapeutic horse riding program for special needs children at his North Carolina farm 23 years ago, the staff consisted of, essentially, just him and his horses. There was one rider, a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. He didn’t charge a dime. Today, there are some 200 volunteers, 69 riders, and 26 horses on Swimmer’s 83-acre Misty Meadows farm. And to this day, he has never charged any money for the services.

That altruistic approach to service earned him recognition as one of CNN’s Heroes in a ceremony last year, and landed him on the cover this month’s issue of The Penn Stater, arriving in mailboxes soon. In “A Farm Full of Hope,” we visit Misty Meadows to see how Swimmer has kept up with the needs of the kids and the community, as well as his reaction to the CNN tribute.

The new issue also gives you a look into how last year’s Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl berth turned many skeptics into believers of James Franklin and his approach to building the football program, in a profile called “Unite and Conquer.” Additionally, we talk to retiring American Studies professor Simon Bronner, whose office is filled with items from the cultures and communities he has studied in “A Folklorist at Work.”

Plus we’ll tell you what the $30 million gift from Hollywood producer Donald P. Bellisario ’61 means for the College of Communications, take you inside a class that looks at the stereotypes of “good” vs. “bad” moms in literature, and look back at a historic Big Ten championship for men’s track and field.

What do you think about the new issue? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at heypennstater@psu.edu.

B.J. Reyes, associate editor

June 26, 2017 at 4:54 pm 1 comment


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