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Johnson College Receives Historic $1 Million Gift image
April 20, 2022
Johnson College Receives Historic $1 Million Gift
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Campus Celebrates a Milestone with the First-Ever “Saldi Day”

Dr. Katie Leonard, President and CEO of Johnson College, announced today that the college received a $1 million gift from Jessup native and college alumnus, Ideal T. Saldi and his wife, Frances P. Saldi. The contribution is the largest gift from an alum to date and one of the most significant gifts in Johnson College’s history.


Dr. Katie Leonard officially declared April 20 as Saldi Day on campus.


Students, staff, alumni and members of the Saldi family gathered in the college’s gym to celebrate this landmark announcement. Dr. Leonard officially declared April 20 as Ideal and Frances Saldi Day on campus.

Mr. Saldi studied as a machinist at Johnson College while he was still a teenager and graduated in the class of 1949. He then graduated from Jessup High School and attended Penn State University to earn a degree in engineering. He also holds a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Ideal T. Saldi reflected on his time at Johnson College and encouraged students to differentiate themselves in the workforce.


“Johnson College kept me out of the coal mines and provided me the skills that allowed me to earn money to pay for college,” said Mr. Saldi. “Whatever success I have enjoyed, I owe to Johnson College. We look at this donation as a payment of a debt.”

“Ideal and Frances’ gift will have a direct and lasting impact on our students and the College,” Dr. Leonard added. “It inspires us to deliver the best real-world, hands-on, industry-driven education that our students, industry partners and community expect from Johnson College.”


Alumni, staff, students and members of the Saldi family gathered on campus for the announcement.


Mr. Saldi spent 18 years working for the General Electric Company and rose to the position of general manager. He left General Electric to start his own company, Integrated Display Systems. Throughout his career, he has started a total of 18 companies and been awarded 18 patents.

Mrs. Saldi (formerly Frances Prutisto) also grew up locally in Archbald. She graduated from Archbald High and holds a liberal arts degree from Penn State University. After raising her four children, she worked as a real estate agent.


About Johnson College


Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a supportive environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s only technical college, offering 17 associate degree and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-instructor ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on learning. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email or visit