Donor Stories

Donor Stories - Millersville University Faculty and Staff

Dr. Charles Scharnberger

Dr. Charles ScharnbergerDr. Charles Scharnberger has a long history of supporting the success of students at Millersville University. He joined the faculty in 1973 and served as professor of Geology for 30 years, nine of them as chair of the department of Earth Sciences, before retiring in 2003. Originally from St. Louis, Scharnberger earned a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts and master’s and doctoral degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, he is a member of the Millersville University Foundation board of directors, where he previously served two terms in the 1990s.

Reflecting on his career at Millersville, Scharnberger says that he appreciates having had the opportunity to teach geology to undergraduate students. His favorite part of geology was being outdoors, what geologists call “field work.” His favorite classes were structural geology and exploration geophysics, both of which involved extensive field work for students, as well as the senior-level course in geological field mapping. In graduate school, Scharnberger’s concentration was geophysics, and when he came to Millersville, he established the university seismograph station. He became known as an expert on local earthquakes and was often interviewed on that subject by news media.

The gratification that Scharnberger found through his experience at Millersville led him to give back to the university to make a difference in the lives of students. He began to make small financial contributions to the university as a faculty member. In the 1980s, he donated to the Earth Sciences Department a series of books describing the geology of North America published by the Geological Society of America. This valuable series is available for students to consult in the department library.

As a further effort to make a positive impact for students, he established the Dr. Charles K. Scharnberger Geology Scholarship, to be awarded to a junior or senior majoring in geology and in good academic standing. Scharnberger says, “I really enjoyed my time here. I liked my colleagues; I liked the campus; I liked the area; I liked the students. I thought I had gotten a lot out of my experience at Millersville so I should give something back.” In addition to the scholarship fund, Scharnberger has established an estate gift through his IRA. “The most gratifying part of giving back,” he says, “is seeing the success of students.”

To learn more and to request a free Millersville University Estate Planning Guide, please visit or contact the Development Office at or at (717) 871-7520.