In Service to Penn State
Those who know me are quite aware of the fact that I bleed “blue and white”. I can remember the day I became a Penn State fan; January 1, 1969- Penn State beat Kansas in the Orange Bowl when JoePa went for the 2 point conversion…twice…and won! I vividly remember my first visit to Happy Valley in the summer of 1969. I fell in love with the University Park campus that day, and knew Penn State was my school. Although I was initially accepted to Cincinnati and Virginia Tech, I finally received my matriculation letter to Penn State in January 1970. The transfusion was complete…I was a Penn Stater! I enrolled in September 1970.
Like most freshmen and sophomores, I spent my first two years just trying to get acclimated to college life. At the end of winter term (remember terms!?) I realized I was not progressing in my education and decided to take some time off and re-assess my educational direction.
During the summer of 1972 my friend, Walt Grabowski, North Halls Association of Students President, asked me to serve as North Hall’s representative to the Association of Residence Hall Students (ARHS) when I returned to campus in the fall of 1972. Thus began my opportunity to give something back to the University.
I served as North Hall’s rep and was elected president of ARHS in the spring of 1973, proudly serving during the following year. During that time several issues came to the forefront.
The limited service campus bus system of the day was in danger of being eliminated. Many students were dependent on that service to get around campus. Under my leadership, a petition drive was spearheaded by ARHS, convincing the University and CATA to take a renewed look at how the campus service would be integrated into the evolving long range mass transit plan. The existing campus system grew out of that effort.
In the winter of 1974, there were several sexual assaults on campus and in town. Again, ARHS stepped forward, instituting a campus escort service and rumor control center.
The University had a very restrictive campus solicitation policy in the early 70s, in an effort to preserve student privacy. A new policy was developed in conjunction with ARHS, allowing for social and political discourse, but still preserving student privacy.
In 1974, I was selected as a member of the Penn State Skull & Bones Senior Honor Society, in recognition of my leadership and service to the University; a mark of distinction of which I am most proud.
I continued my service to the University as a Resident Assistant in East and North Halls, followed by an appointment as Administrative Assistant in North.
My stint in student government and Residential Life Programs gave me a clearer picture of how the University works and provided me with an opportunity to serve my fellow Penn State student.
In the early 80’s, I was approached by a friend who had just taken a new job as Director of Campus and Community Relations at Penn State-Beaver. This was a new position and one of her responsibilities was to form an alumni group at the Beaver Campus. Along with a handful of other Beaver Valley Penn State grads, we formed the Beaver Valley Area Penn State Alumni Society. I missed a meeting that first summer and while I was absent, they elected me as the group’s first president!
This fledgling group decided to raise money for a student scholarship by selling Penn State Creamery ice cream cones at the Penn State Beaver Cultural Center summer concert series and pre-ordered half gallon sales in the fall. After a couple of sales, we had enough to award our first scholarship to a deserving Beaver Campus student. Today, that same scholarship is endowed and continues to provide much needed aide. I was proud to have been an integral part of the formation, and to serve as first president, of this service organization.
I have long thought about continuing my service to the University, and helping to improve this great institution. Recent events have confirmed my belief that new leadership is needed. To that end, I have decided to run for an alumni spot on the Board of Trustees. Please read more of my life’s experiences (Just a Regular Working Guy) and how they have prepared me for this leadership role.